The Nuggets get a little more shooting. The Spurs get some frontcourt depth. The Boston Celtics save money.
That’s the bottom line out of a three-team deal reported late Tuesday night by Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. Here is how it breaks down:
For Boston, this is about getting under the luxury tax (this deal doesn’t do it, but it gets them closer). Boston entered the day $5.7 million over the tax line, and this trade reduces that bill by a little more than $3 million. Expect the Celtics to make at least one more move before the deadline to get under the tax line.
As for the players, Dozier is out for the season with a torn ACL and will be a free agent next summer. Bol Bol was almost traded to the Pistons last week, but the deal fell apart when he failed his physical. Bol is about to undergo foot surgery that will keep him out at least two months, maybe three. It is possible he could return to the court this season, but it’s unlikely.
For the Nuggets, they have been looking for more backcourt shooting to help space the floor around Nikola Jokic (and Jamal Murray when he returns). Forbes is shooting 41.7% from 3 this season — mostly on catch-and-shoot opportunities — and he can play some defense. He played a rotation role for the championship Bucks last season and can do the same in Denver (and be more consistent than rookie Bones Hyland). He’s what the Nuggets need.
Bottom line: Teams have thrown everything and the kitchen sink at Nikola recently. Neither Bol nor P.J. were going to help fix the shooting woes. Bryn does. Not a ton of downside.
— Mike Singer (@msinger) January 19, 2022
The Spurs have backcourt depth but wanted more along the frontline, which is where Hernangomez comes in.
Hernangomez has bounced around this season, being traded from Minnesota to Memphis in August, then to Boston before training camp. He never cracked the Celtics rotation, playing in just 18 games and none since December 27. He may not play a lot for the Spurs — Zach Collins is playing in the G-League in preparation for an NBA return soon — but this is low risk for San Antonio. While Hernangomez is set to make $7.5 million next season, the contract is non-guaranteed — the Spurs can waive him after the season and walk away.