Last February, the San Antonio Spurs traded Derrick White at the deadline for Josh Richardson, Romeo Langford, a 2022 first-round draft pick, and a 2028 first-round pick swap. He has contributed greatly to the Celtics' season turnaround, averaging 11 points and 3.4 rebounds a game off the bench. His stats may not come across as anything special, but the little things he does on the court like scrambling for loose balls and taking charges have helped the Celtics tremendously.
The Boston Celtics have had a spectacular second half of the season. They went 16-4 in their last 20 games and their post-season performance is making a case as to why they could have a deep playoff run.
The Celtics' second-half turnaround is credited to their stellar defense led by the DPOY Marcus Smart and the offensive capabilities of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. But when Tatum and Brown are out of the game, the Celtics can depend on their second unit headed by Derrick White to provide some offense and double down on defense.
“They’re always on me about doing things a little different,” White said after practice recently. “A lot of it’s the same, but it’s just the little physicality here, bumping them early, just getting underneath them in switches. Stuff like that, that’s a little different than what we did in San Antonio.”
Adjusting to the Celtic's defense mid-season was not an easy task for White, but he has managed to get acclimated and be an important part of the Celtics getting wins.
Who won the Celtics-Spurs trade?
The Spurs have also seen success with Richardson. This season, he averaged 11.4 points and shot 44 percent from the 3-point line. His highest scoring game was against the Golden State Warriors when he scored 25 points in a close win. He also managed to have four 18-point games while coming off the bench.
Aside from contributing offensively, he provides a veteran presence for the team. “He’s helped me a whole lot just in terms of staying confident and just trusting in what I have been working on, trusting in what the team knows I can do,” Josh Primo said. “He pours confidence into me and gives me pointers on where I can be more effective,” he continued, per the San Antonio Express-News.
The Spurs and Celtics have both picked up players in the trade that have proven to be beneficial for their teams, but if I had to decide based on team record, then the Celtics have easily won this trade. The Celtics ended the regular season 51-31, the second-best record in the Eastern Conference.
Derrick White provides extra scoring off the bench and has proven to be useful on defense. On the other hand, Richardson provides the Spurs with much-needed 3-point shooting, and his locker room presence gives the young players someone to look up to for a boost. The Spurs' additional first-round draft pick could also turn out to be a success but only time will tell.
In the end, both teams came away with benefits from this trade, but the Celtics are the team that is in the playoffs. If they win a championship, then the obvious winner out of the two would be the Celtics.