Despite initial doubts about the possibility of a reunion, it’s surprising to see this former Celtic end up on a team outside the postseason picture.

The Boston Celtics didn’t wait until deadline day to make a move; they acted early, striking a trade with the Memphis Grizzlies for Xavier Tillman.

Why Michigan State's Xavier Tillman Is The Boston Celtics' Most Underrated Draft Target

As discussed while analyzing the former Michigan State Spartan’s game, considering the financial aspects of the deal, and sharing insights from a conversation Inside The Celtics had with the team’s president of basketball operations, Brad Stevens, Tillman showcases elite defensive skills, ranking in the 99th percentile in defensive estimated plus-minus, according to Additionally, he brings passing prowess and high basketball IQ, which should enhance the team’s offensive impact, especially alongside the talent that has propelled them to the top of the NBA standings with a 39-12 record following a 125-117 victory over the Atlanta Hawks.

Acquiring Tillman put an end to the potential reunion between Boston and Kelly Olynyk. Despite reported interest from the former, the likelihood of such a reunion always seemed doubtful to this author.

As expected, the ten-year veteran is on the move, transitioning from the Utah Jazz to the Toronto Raptors in an unexpected turn of events. Despite multiple playoff teams pursuing his services, Olynyk has landed with a team currently positioned at 12th in the Eastern Conference standings with an 18-33 record.

Olynyk, along with former Kansas Jayhawk Ochai Agbaji, is heading to Toronto in exchange for a 2024 first-round pick, Otto Porter Jr., and Kira Lewis, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

There’s speculation that Porter, a reported target for the Celtics, may end up on the buyout market and potentially join Boston to team up with Tillman in their pursuit of raising Banner 18 to the TD Garden rafters.

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