Wednesday, the Memphis Grizzlies made the surprise decision to trade fan-favorite tweener big Xavier Tillman, as they sent him to the Boston Celtics in exchange for two future second-round picks.
With this, Taylor Jenkins' squad adds more draft assets to their collection and open up a roster spot in the process while the C's bolster their frontcourt depth as they look to better their odds of a championship run this season.
Though Tillman's presence and on-court contributions will certainly be missed in Grind City, his arrival in Beantown is one that should warrant a considerable amount of excitement from Celtics fans and even players alike, with veteran Al Horford already sharing his two cents regarding the "benefit" of adding his talents to the rotation.
Al Horford dishes on ex-Grizzlies big Xavier Tillman
"It’s definitely a benefit. We’re looking forward to having him here. He’s a guy that's played on good teams and understands how to play. I look forward to playing with him and seeing how he can help us down the stretch."- Al Horford, transcribed by Taylor Snow
A four-year veteran, Tillman has seen postseason action in every single season played thus far and, in all likelihood, will embark on his farthest journey to date now as a member of the Celtics.
With his combination of strength, two-way skill set, and high-energy style of play, the 25-year-old is a player who can be relied on for minutes at the four and five spots and can provide quality, contributions on both ends of the floor.
Amid arguably his best season as a pro, Tillman found himself posting impressive averages of 6.0 points, 4.6 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 1.2 steals, and 1.0 blocks with the Grizzlies while registering a stellar defensive box plus-minus of +2.2.
His toughness and energy on each end of the court will prove to be a major boost for Boston's frontcourt rotation.
Though it's tough to see him go, Grizzlies nation should hope for nothing but the best from X as he heads toward the next chapter of his professional career.