Hours after acquiring Kris Dunn from the Hawks using a trade exception, Boston struck again, absorbing Dallas wing Josh Richardson into the remainder of the exception created in the Gordon Hayward deal last offseason, according to a report from Shams Charania of The Athletic.
The Dallas Mavericks are finalizing trading G/F Josh Richardson to the Boston Celtics, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium. Richardson is exercising his $11.6 million player option for the 2021-22 season for the deal.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) July 31, 2021
It’s unclear now which players or picks are headed back to Dallas in the deal.
After a season in which they were criticized for a perceived lack of defensive intensity and grit, adding Dunn and then Richardson seems like a response from Boston. After trading Kemba Walker to Oklahoma City, the Celtics also simply have a big hole in the backcourt, so adding younger talent to play at the guard spots is helpful as well.
However, Richardson is coming off a season in which he shot just 43 percent from the field and struggled to make an impact in Dallas’ first-round series against the Clippers. Even with that said, he is 6-5 with good length and grades out as a decent turnover creator as well as a neutral defender by metrics like Defensive Box Plus-Minus.
As of now, the Celtics have bolstered their backcourt depth with two upside plays without giving up much, but they are likely not done in Brad Stevens’ first offseason as president of basketball operations.