Celtics land Xavier Tillman from Grizzlies in exchange for 2 second-round picks

The Celtics have acquired big man Xavier Tillman Sr. from the Grizzlies in exchange for two future second-round picks.

Former Grizzlies big man Xavier Tillman in Celtics uniform with shocked emojis around him


The Memphis Grizzlies have agreed to trade big man Xavier Tillman Sr. to the Boston Celtics in exchange for Lamar Stevens and two future second-round picks, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

The Celtics are sending a 2027 second-round pick via the Atlanta Hawks and a 2030 second-round pick via the Dallas Mavericks to Memphis as part of this trade for Tillman.

By moving Stevens, who is on a minimum contract, Boston is able to maintain their $6.2 million trade player exception that was created when they executed a sign-and-trade for Grant Williams with the Dallas Mavericks this past offseason.

Tillman, 25, has stepped up for the Grizzlies in the wake of all the injuries they’ve had to deal with.

After Steven Adams was traded to the Houston Rockets last week, Memphis sent a clear message to the rest of the league that they were looking to cut costs and add future value for flexibility.

Celtics acquire Xavier Tillman from Grizzlies for Lamar Stevens, pair of 2nd -round picks

With Tillman in the final year of his contract and set to become an unrestricted free agent in the offseason, it made a lot of sense for the Grizzlies to trade him now. This deal adds value in the form of draft picks for Memphis in case they can’t afford to bring him back in the summer.

The Celtics, who had been searching for frontcourt depth ahead of the trade deadline, had Tillman high on their list of targets.

In a contract year, Tillman has started in 13 of the 34 games he has played, averaging 6.0 points and 4.6 rebounds per game while shooting 40.8 percent from the floor.

Known for his toughness on the interior, Tillman will act as a security blanket for the Celtics behind Kristaps Porzingis and Al Horford in the frontcourt.

The Celtics currently own the league’s best record at 38-12 this season and have high title aspirations. Although he may not play in every game, Tillman gives this team another reliable big man in case Porzingis or Horford end up on the bench.

For the Grizzlies, injuries have created a disappointing season. With superstar Ja Morant out for the year, as well as the majority of the Grizzlies core on the injury report, general manager Zach Kleiman made it known to the rest of the league that Memphis was open to making moves in order to acquire future assets.

This franchise now puts itself in a position to be aggressive in search of more talent during the offseason.

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