Best Celtics’ Trades in Franchise History

When NBA trades occur, they are always interesting to analyze. There is rarely a trade in the league where both teams win. More often than not, it’s a one-way street, and one franchise gets the better end of the deal.

The Boston Celtics were one of the first professional basketball franchises in the NBA when they were founded in 1946. A history so rich always has a story to tell.

With that being said, let’s look at some of the biggest headlines in Celtics history: Trades.

Kevin Garnett (2007)

Boston Celtics received: Kevin Garnett

Minnesota Timberwolves received: Al Jefferson, Gerald Green, Theo Ratliff, Sebastian Telfair, Ryan Gomes, and two first-round picks.

In 2007, the Celtics made a trade to bring former MVP Kevin Garnett to Boston. Garnett averaged 22.4 points, 12.8 rebounds, 4.1 assists, 1.7 blocks, and 1.2 steals per game in the season before becoming a Celtic.

The Big Ticket was paired with two promising young stars, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen. The South Carolina native would prove to be one of the missing pieces needed for the team. The addition of Garnett immediately made the Celtics contenders for the next half-decade.

In 2008, the Celtics and Garnett would win the NBA Championship.

Ray Allen (2007)

Boston Celtics received: Ray Allen

Seattle Supersonics received: Delonte West, Jeff Green, and Wally Szczerbiak.

Nearly a month before the Celtics traded for Kevin Garnett, the team acquired Ray Allen from the Seattle Supersonics. The athletic sharpshooter helped form the big three in Boston and ultimately played a massive role in the Celtics’ championship run in ’08.

Although Allen would eventually leave the C’s to play for the Miami Heat, his time in Boston was meaningful. Jesus Shuttlesworth will forever be a part of Celtics history.

Robert Parish and Kevin McHale (1980)

Boston Celtics receivedRobert Parish and the third overall pick (Kevin McHale)

Golden State Warriors received: Two first-round picks

In 1980, the Celtics sent two first-round picks for Robert Parish and the third overall pick in the 1980 draft. Red Auerbach flipped the two draft picks for future Boston legends. While Parish was the focal point of the deal, with the third overall pick, the Celtics selected Kevin McHale.

The two players were paired with Larry Bird, another NBA legend. The Celtics undoubtedly had the best front court in basketball, and it translated just as you imagine.

McHale and Parrish would finish their careers with three NBA titles won during their time in Boston.

Bill Russell (1956)

Boston Celtics received: Bill Russell

St. Louis Hawks received: Cliff Hagan and Ed Macauley

In 1956, Red Auerbach convinced the Celtics’ then-owner, Walter Brown, to send the Rochester Royals’ owner, Les Harrison, a gift. In an effort to persuade the Royals not to select Bill Russell with the first overall pick, the Celtics sent Harrison a week’s worth of Ice Capades shows.

Following the suspenseful effort of persuasion from C’s management, Boston managed to get a deal done with the St. Louis Hawks on draft night. Bringing in Russell would be the beginning of history.

The Secretary of Defense won 11 championships in his career. Behind some of the most remarkable performances, a legacy was created. Mr. Eleven Rings was born.

Russell became the epitome of a champion in Boston and will forever be known as one.

The Brooklyn Nets Haul (2013)

Boston Celtics received: Keith Bogans, MarShon Brooks, Gerald Wallace, Kris Humphries, Kris Joseph, and four future first-round picks.

Brooklyn Nets received: Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Jason Terry, D.J. White, a future first-round pick, and a future second-round pick.

The most recent of these trades came in 2013 when Danny Ainge and the Celtics fleeced the Nets. At the time, the trade was unexpected and difficult to pull a winner from. Ainge traded aging stars to hit the restart button.

While Pierce and Garnett managed to lead Brooklyn to the playoffs, Ainge fully equipped the C’s for a remarkable rebuild in Beantown. Two of the four picks from the Nets were used to select Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum. They are a current top duo in the NBA.

It was clear not long after who won the trade. Boston was set for the future, and the Brooklyn reign ended before it began. This trade is now considered one of the biggest disasters in league history on the Nets’ behalf.

Dennis Johnson (1983)

Boston Celtics received: Dennis Johnson and two draft picks.

Phoenix Suns: Rick Robey and two second-round picks.

In 1983, the Celtics sent Rick Robey and two second-round picks in exchange for Dennis Johnson and two draft picks. The 1979 NBA Finals MVP would bring his grit to Boston.

The scrappy guard built his career by being tough-nosed on the defensive end, and he did just that in Boston. Johnson won two championships during his time with the Celtics, once in ’84 and another in ’86.

It took only six years for Johnson to solidify himself as a Celtics legend.

In a league like the NBA, it’s hard to judge when the next blockbuster trade will occur. Even the minor trades prove to be major at times. While it’s clear the Celtics haven’t won every trade during their time, it’s evident that multiple trades have landed in favor of Boston.