Hours after Gordon Hayward decided to leave Boston to sign with the Hornets, the Celtics quickly snapped into action to fortify their roster by agreeing to deals with center Tristan Thompson and point guard Jeff Teague, according to multiple league sources.
Thompson, an excellent rebounder and solid defender, will likely slide into Boston’s starting lineup in place of Daniel Theis. A void at center was created when Enes Kanter was traded to Portland on Friday.
Thompson, 29, agreed to a two-year, $19 million deal, according to a league source, using up Boston’s midlevel exception. He spent his first nine NBA seasons with the Cavaliers and Last year averaged 12 points and 10.1 rebounds per game.
Teague, 32, split last season between the Timberwolves and the Hawks, averaging 10.9 points and 5.2 assists per contest. He gives Boston backcourt depth following the departure of point guard Brad Wanamaker, who reportedly agreed to a deal with the Warriors on Saturday night. Also, Teague is a very good insurance policy if the Celtics proceed cautiously with Kemba Walker, who is dealing with left knee issues.
Also on Saturday, Theis’s $5 million salary and forward Semi Ojeleye’s $1.7 million salary for this season were fully guaranteed, according to a league source. Theis’s guarantee was just a formality, but there was some uncertainty this week surrounding Ojeleye’s future. Hayward’s departure increased the need for wing help, however.