Xavier Tillman to Celtics for 2 2nd round picks

InstaFace

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Maybe, but he is signed for another year and clearly still has it. Lots of guys hang on with less than he brings.
And just as importantly, he not only keeps himself in absolute tip-top shape with a nearly Tom Brady-esque devotion to nutrition and weight training, but he's an evangelist for the same and everyone who's passed through the Celtics roster in his tenure remarks on how much he's influenced them to do likewise, checks in on them, asks and really cares how they're each feeling and what's nagging them. He's the exact sort of profile of a guy who can play pro sports into his 40s. If he wasn't that fanatical, we'd have seen it in on the court by now, but also that would be an indication of his motivation to continue. By being such a gym rat, so single-mindedly concerned with maintaining his health and fitness, he's making a statement about how much he wants to stay in the league, even in Year 17 of his career. He may not be Lebron, but he's going the same direction as Lebron when it comes to maintenance and conditioning, so no reason to suspect he can't continue the graceful aging that Lebron has seen, albeit from his own (lower) performance level.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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And just as importantly, he not only keeps himself in absolute tip-top shape with a nearly Tom Brady-esque devotion to nutrition and weight training, but he's an evangelist for the same and everyone who's passed through the Celtics roster in his tenure remarks on how much he's influenced them to do likewise, checks in on them, asks and really cares how they're each feeling and what's nagging them. He's the exact sort of profile of a guy who can play pro sports into his 40s. If he wasn't that fanatical, we'd have seen it in on the court by now, but also that would be an indication of his motivation to continue. By being such a gym rat, so single-mindedly concerned with maintaining his health and fitness, he's making a statement about how much he wants to stay in the league, even in Year 17 of his career. He may not be Lebron, but he's going the same direction as Lebron when it comes to maintenance and conditioning, so no reason to suspect he can't continue the graceful aging that Lebron has seen, albeit from his own (lower) performance level.
As I mentioned upthread, Tillman specifically mentioned Al's guidance on this issue - longevity and taking care of one's body - as something he's taken in over the last couple of weeks.
 

the moops

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I haven't gotten to watch to much of too many games recently, but what I have seen of Tillman is underwhelming. Is he offering much? Will he sneak into the playoff rotation?
 

PedroKsBambino

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Agreed---his role is to be a big-bodied defensive 4/5. That is critcal vs Embiid, Giannis, Jokic given rest of roster.

And...

Whether he plays more than spot minutes vs most other teams depends on who is healthy and what's working/not on a given day.

I'm not even sure he's in the rotation if everyone is healthy save the need above - Brissett and Kornet are better fits for the system overall. But he brings beef, defensive versatility (he's better flexing between outside and inside than either of those guys), and rebounding when needed. So a nice depth piece who hasn't shown he can really shoot, but he can screen, pass, and play D/rebound.

If I were guessing, his playoff lines will go from DNP/CD to 15+ minutes depending on what's going on. Which is totally fine.
 

benhogan

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I haven't gotten to watch to much of too many games recently, but what I have seen of Tillman is underwhelming. Is he offering much? Will he sneak into the playoff rotation?
the box score is underwhelming but the defense is every bit as good as advertised. He'll be situationally key.

Many games he'll be DNP & then there will be games he plays 15 key minutes against players like Giannis, Joker, etc
 

lars10

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Agreed---his role is to be a big-bodied defensive 4/5. That is critcal vs Embiid, Giannis, Jokic given rest of roster.

And...

Whether he plays more than spot minutes vs most other teams depends on who is healthy and what's working/not on a given day.

I'm not even sure he's in the rotation if everyone is healthy save the need above - Brissett and Kornet are better fits for the system overall. But he brings beef, defensive versatility (he's better flexing between outside and inside than either of those guys), and rebounding when needed. So a nice depth piece who hasn't shown he can really shoot, but he can screen, pass, and play D/rebound.

If I were guessing, his playoff lines will go from DNP/CD to 15+ minutes depending on what's going on. Which is totally fine.
the box score is underwhelming but the defense is every bit as good as advertised. He'll be situationally key.

Many games he'll be DNP & then there will be games he plays 15 key minutes against players like Giannis, Joker, etc
Funny that you both said basically the same thing about his minutes.

From what I’ve seen Tillman is what he is, as you guys said, the Celts don’t need another scorer really.. but he’s fit in very well in just doing the little things that help to win games. He’s another piece added to make the whole team better…and he seems to come free of ego so he fits into any role the Celts want to give him.
 

lovegtm

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I haven't gotten to watch to much of too many games recently, but what I have seen of Tillman is underwhelming. Is he offering much? Will he sneak into the playoff rotation?
I think a combination of underwhelming a bit, and Kornet finding an extra gear no one thought he had.

Tillman has a long track record of being a playoff-level rotation player, so I'm not too concerned, but I bet he only plays in matchups where drop defense or roaming way off a mediocre shooter isn't viable. The Cs love to use Kornet as that roamer now.
 

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Dude is exactly who the Celtics traded for, a rotational matchup-specific big. I think underwhelming only works if you were expecting a lot more than that.
 

PedroKsBambino

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People were throwing around a Horford comp initially---he isn't that offensively, or even really in terms of defensive versatility. But that's ok---Horford was a max-ish level guy and a top-5 pick. Tillman's role is to be a useful guy who is valuable in some specific situations.

Some here probably recall I spent the first half of the year arguing they needed a widebody big---and so I'm thrilled they found a cost-controlled version of that profile.
 

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People were throwing around a Horford comp initially---he isn't that offensively, or even really in terms of defensive versatility. But that's ok---Horford was a max-ish level guy and a top-5 pick. Tillman's role is to be a useful guy who is valuable in some specific situations.

Some here probably recall I spent the first half of the year arguing they needed a widebody big---and so I'm thrilled they found a cost-controlled version of that profile.
Agreed. He’s effectively filling the Leon Powe/PJ Brown role for this team. He won’t play as much as those guys, both averaged double digit minutes in 2008 playoffs, but he’s fully capable of stepping in and not killing the team, which is all you could hope for given the low acquisition cost.

Just a hunch but I feel like an Xavier Tillman playoff moment is coming.
 

benhogan

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People were throwing around a Horford comp initially---he isn't that offensively, or even really in terms of defensive versatility. But that's ok---Horford was a max-ish level guy and a top-5 pick. Tillman's role is to be a useful guy who is valuable in some specific situations.

Some here probably recall I spent the first half of the year arguing they needed a widebody big---and so I'm thrilled they found a cost-controlled version of that profile.
Yep an experienced, mobile +++defensive BIG to replace Grant was the obvious bench need to start the season.
Queta did an admirable job as the 4th/5th string Beef Center & wouldn't mind him returning on a minimum deal next season.

I suspect Brad never had much interest in WINGs like Saddiq Bey or Konchar.

Many had Tillman on the radar at the trade deadline.
 

Eddie Jurak

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I think his play has ebbed as the Celtics have started the regular resting of veterans. I think he tended to fit better in lineups with 3-4 of our top 6 than in the various types of lineups that have been playing more recently. I think he'll be fine - though his role will be small, maybe situational - come playoff time. I think Horford has said that he likes playing with Tillman.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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Tillman has been exactly as advertised. He is an end of rotation D-oriented big who can function well in certain match-ups and whose non-shooting skills are above average. The problem is that this C's team is built on having five players who can hurt you in a variety of ways offensively and when he is slotted into his role, he instantly allows the opposing defense to change their approach.

Again, this guy with a league-average offensive game is probably a core rotational player on contenders for the balance of his career and I suspect he knows that as well as anyone. Maybe he can figure out his offense but after four seasons, it doesn't feel likely.
 

pjheff

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Again, this guy with a league-average offensive game is probably a core rotational player on contenders for the balance of his career and I suspect he knows that as well as anyone. Maybe he can figure out his offense but after four seasons, it doesn't feel likely.
Perhaps, but he’s 25 with a reputation for his high basketball IQ and work ethic. And he’s only played 11 games thus far with the C’s. How many guys on the current roster added to their games (Horford), matured as players (White), and became more efficient (Holiday) after that age? I’m not saying that Tillman will experience the surge or make the impact of those other players. I will say that I have a lot of faith in Brad Stevens’ eye for scouting talent on other rosters and understanding of how it could be optimized on our own.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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I found this tweet from Givony back in 2020 when he did the "virtual combine." He apparently came in 2nd in the NBA's star drill, making 75% of his 3Ps. I'm not shot doctor but his form looks good, clean, and repeatable to me. Maybe that's why BOS is encouraging him to take 3Ps when he has them.

View: https://twitter.com/DraftExpress/status/1324506738071130114?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1324506738071130114%7Ctwgr%5E70bba1b07eee8211ce071f666f74e4d57c43cf3c%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fspartanswire.usatoday.com%2F2020%2F11%2F05%2Fwatch-michigan-states-xavier-tillman-no-2-best-shooter-in-nba-combine-drill%2F
 

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I think his play has ebbed as the Celtics have started the regular resting of veterans. I think he tended to fit better in lineups with 3-4 of our top 6 than in the various types of lineups that have been playing more recently. I think he'll be fine - though his role will be small, maybe situational - come playoff time. I think Horford has said that he likes playing with Tillman.
Bingo. Tillman is similar to PP and Hauser in that he’s a great “fit” guy who would get lost playing with a bunch of other role players. When given a singular defined role that is when he is most valuable.
 

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I found this tweet from Givony back in 2020 when he did the "virtual combine." He apparently came in 2nd in the NBA's star drill, making 75% of his 3Ps. I'm not shot doctor but his form looks good, clean, and repeatable to me. Maybe that's why BOS is encouraging him to take 3Ps when he has them.

View: https://twitter.com/DraftExpress/status/1324506738071130114?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1324506738071130114%7Ctwgr%5E70bba1b07eee8211ce071f666f74e4d57c43cf3c%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fspartanswire.usatoday.com%2F2020%2F11%2F05%2Fwatch-michigan-states-xavier-tillman-no-2-best-shooter-in-nba-combine-drill%2F
He should never shoot from the left wing...
 

lovegtm

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I was wrong about them playing Kornet. X was great--let them switch everything, handled Luka a couple times, didn't gum up the offense (helps that he can play against bench units).

Brad fucking Stevens, man.

Also Mazzulla for being decisive on what to do with KP out.
 

Ed Hillel

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If we finish this off, my auto photo I hang for this season, might have to be that Tillman corner 3.
 

Kliq

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A completely professional performance. Did exactly what the Celtics were counting on him to do when they acquired him. Stayed ready and kept the defense humming. He'll certainly deserve his ring if the Celtics close out Dallas.
 

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One of those moves where you knew there was a special playoff moment coming at some point.
 

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He’s gonna be a great fit on next year’s team. Seems like a great guy (don’t they all) and an offseason and preseason in the system is only going to increase usage.
 

HomeRunBaker

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He’s gonna be a great fit on next year’s team. Seems like a great guy (don’t they all) and an offseason and preseason in the system is only going to increase usage.
Isn’t Tillman a UFA? I’m sure he is going to want a larger role and opportunity to get paid after getting said role.
 

PedroKsBambino

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Yes, he's a UFA. I believe Celtics have his Bird rights, so (as a role and salary/tax matter) his return may depend on whether Al continues to play or not.
 

pjheff

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Isn’t Tillman a UFA? I’m sure he is going to want a larger role and opportunity to get paid after getting said role.
The C‘s hold his Bird rights and, as a second apron team, have fewer paths to add rotation players. I wonder if Brad sees him as Al’s understudy next year and eventual replacement thereafter.
 

HomeRunBaker

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The C‘s hold his Bird rights and, as a second apron team, have fewer paths to add rotation players. I wonder if Brad sees him as Al’s understudy next year and eventual replacement thereafter.
I think he did for sure when acquired but he hasn’t been a good fit up until last night. How much weight do you place on one game? How injured was he prior to last night? These are Brad answers and our advantage is that it isn’t like he showed well in a contract year so that should help diminish his market.
 

Eddie Jurak

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I was wrong about them playing Kornet. X was great--let them switch everything, handled Luka a couple times, didn't gum up the offense (helps that he can play against bench units).

Brad fucking Stevens, man.

Also Mazzulla for being decisive on what to do with KP out.
Well, tonight's minutes were worth the trade price by themselves.
I agree with all of this, and I really hope he is back next year.

I assume that Al will be back, and we know KP will be back. But Al is 38 and KP is, I hate to say it, looking more like our Bill Walton by the day.

I'd like to sign him and groom him to succeed Al.

Also, after this seaon ends, if Al does not retire, I am asking him how much training time he needs to get himself ready for next season, and if he says he needs until December I happily let him. (He talked about getting great benefit, training wise, from getting shut down by OKC when they were tanking the season before Brad brought him back).

Same for KP - whatever therapy, time off, and training he needs after the season you have to give it to him.

So I hope we open up the wallet for Tillman.
 

HomeRunBaker

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I agree with all of this, and I really hope he is back next year.

I assume that Al will be back, and we know KP will be back. But Al is 38 and KP is, I hate to say it, looking more like our Bill Walton by the day.

I'd like to sign him and groom him to succeed Al.

Also, after this seaon ends, if Al does not retire, I am asking him how much training time he needs to get himself ready for next season, and if he says he needs until December I happily let him. (He talked about getting great benefit, training wise, from getting shut down by OKC when they were tanking the season before Brad brought him back).

Same for KP - whatever therapy, time off, and training he needs after the season you have to give it to him.

So I hope we open up the wallet for Tillman.
Horford’s house on the market, he’s retiring. Porzingis another lower body injury, career threatening. Tillman FA, someone is going to pay him after all he has the Ringz. Derrick needs extension, how are we going to pay him. Holiday approaching 35, decline is here.

Don’t worry the national media will be telling us all shortly how much trouble we are in next year and moving forward.
 

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I was definitely one of the few shocked by how effective Tillman was last night given his prior play for the Celtics in the regular season (and I was a huge fan of the move when it happened!). I'm wondering if again this all comes down to matchups. He's a really strong defender, who's weakness while on the Celtics seems to have been speed and letting some guys blow by him. It seems like that combination matches up really well against the Mavs and Luka, but feels like he would have been roasted with an extensive time vs. the Pacers. (I say that despite him being +12 in 13 minutes in game 3, so what do I know?).
 

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I'm still of the opinion that Horford runs it back next year for a chance at another ring.
 

Cellar-Door

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I was definitely one of the few shocked by how effective Tillman was last night given his prior play for the Celtics in the regular season (and I was a huge fan of the move when it happened!). I'm wondering if again this all comes down to matchups. He's a really strong defender, who's weakness while on the Celtics seems to have been speed and letting some guys blow by him. It seems like that combination matches up really well against the Mavs and Luka, but feels like he would have been roasted with an extensive time vs. the Pacers. (I say that despite him being +12 in 13 minutes in game 3, so what do I know?).
Yeah it's a good matchup for him to defend. He's thick and strong so Luka can't move him with strength, his feet aren't really quick enough for Kyrie, but everyone else he can hang with, and..... he rarely jumps on D. Like Rob Williams... huge athlete, Luka would eat him alive because he'd get him in the air, Luka kept trying to grift him and he just put his hands straight up and feet planted.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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Horford’s house on the market, he’s retiring.
Al put his house on the market in early March according to this.

Are you saying that Al was so confident the Cs would win this year, he put his house on the market knowing that he was going to retire at the end of this year?

Because if the Cs didn't win the ring this year, there was no way he was retiring.

He did sign a two-year extension so he has one more year left. I wouldn't put it past him to try to go back-to-back.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Al put his house on the market in early March according to this.

Are you saying that Al was so confident the Cs would win this year, he put his house on the market knowing that he was going to retire at the end of this year?

Because if the Cs didn't win the ring this year, there was no way he was retiring.

He did sign a two-year extension so he has one more year left. I wouldn't put it past him to try to go back-to-back.
My list was mocking some things the media will look at for clicks but yeah I saw that right away about his house in March. You never know what a family is thinking (he probably felt nobody was close to touching them this year too) and retirement would seem premature especially if they lost this year but it’s probably the most interesting development of that list to me. I mean, unless they are downsizing, it’s not nothing. We just don’t know what it is….but it’s certainly something.
 

lovegtm

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My list was mocking some things the media will look at for clicks but yeah I saw that right away about his house in March. You never know what a family is thinking and retirement would seem premature especially if they lost this year but it’s probably the most interesting development of that list to me.
For me it seems like 70% he comes back, because he seems like a competitive guy who enjoys doing this with his life, but I could also easily imagine him riding off into the sunset?
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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My list was mocking some things the media will look at for clicks but yeah I saw that right away about his house in March. You never know what a family is thinking (he probably felt nobody was close to touching them this year too) and retirement would seem premature especially if they lost this year but it’s probably the most interesting development of that list to me. I mean, unless they are downsizing, it’s not nothing. We just don’t know what it is….but it’s certainly something.
OK, sorry to misread you. Hopefully Al stays one more year. He's still a key part of this team.
 

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I can't find a clip of it, but Joe addressed his reasons for going with X over Big Bird ealry in his post game presser. He said he liked that X had lots of experience with the Mavs because they were in the same division as the Grizzlies and that the way the Grizzlies defended the Mavs was really similar to the game plan the Celtics wanted to execute. More great stuff from the Celtics' coaching staff.
 

HomeRunBaker

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I can't find a clip of it, but Joe addressed his reasons for going with X over Big Bird ealry in his post game presser. He said he liked that X had lots of experience with the Mavs because they were in the same division as the Grizzlies and that the way the Grizzlies defended the Mavs was really similar to the game plan the Celtics wanted to execute. More great stuff from the Celtics' coaching staff.
Great stuff right here!