After an impressive performance en route to a FIBA World Cup win in 2023, former Boston Celtics big man Daniel Theis is reportedly “not happy” with the Indiana Pacers and may be looking for a trade.
The 31-year-old has not logged a single minute for the Pacers this season. This includes Indiana’s 104-155 blowout loss vs. the Celtics, on Wednesday. Theis was the only active player for both teams who did not see any playing time. The 2023-24 season just kicked off, but trade rumors are already making their way to the Boston Celtics.
Boston Celtics Rumors: Reunion with Pacers Big Man?
After a long career playing professionally in Germany, Theis signed with the Boston Celtics in the 2017 offseason. This was three years after Theis was invited to the Washington Wizards’ summer league team. However, Theis did not make the roster in Washington.
In his first season with the Celtics, Theis averaged 5.3 points and 4.3 rebounds per game. However, Theis suffered an injury towards the end of the regular season and missed the entire postseason. He re-signed with the Celtics in 2019 and became the regular starting center for the team. Additionally, Theis started every playoff game for the team in 2020. During his first three full seasons with the Celtics, Theis averaged 6.7 points and 4.8 rebounds per game. In March 2021, the Celtics traded Theis to the Chicago Bulls as part of a three-team trade with the Wizards.
Over the last 4 years Boston became home for me and my family ! I’m grateful for all wins, losses and moments but most important for people I met and friends I found for life ! Boston will always have a place in my heart and I will never forget my time as a Celtic ! pic.twitter.com/DVFV3BFac4
— Daniel Theis (@dtheis10) March 26, 2021
Theis played 23 games for the Bulls and started 14 of them, averaging 10 points and 5.9 rebounds per game. In August 2021, the Bulls traded Theis to the Houston Rockets.
The big man played 26 games for the Rockets and averaged 8.4 points and 5 rebounds per game. In February 2022, the Rockets traded Theis back to the Celtics for Bruno Fernando, Enes Freedom, and his former Germany teammate, Dennis Schröder.
While with the Celtics for the second time, Theis moved back to the bench and only started six of the 21 games he played for the team. Theis averaged 7.9 points and 4.7 rebounds per game during his second stint with the Celtics.
In the 2022 offseason, the Celtics traded Theis to the Indiana Pacers in a package deal for Malcolm Brogdon. Last season, Theis averaged 7 points and 3.1 rebounds per game in just seven games played.
Should the Boston Celtics Trade for Daniel Theis Amidst These Rumors?
Theis has a $9.5 million team option at the end of this season in his contract. As for this season, Theis has a cap hit of $9.1 million. While the price is a little steep for the Pacers center, it is no secret the Celtics need big man depth. Next to Kristaps Porziņģis and Al Horford, the Celtics’ only other centers are Luke Kornet and Neemias Queta. While Queta had an impressive preseason, a foot injury has kept him inactive for every game of the young season so far. As for Kornet, he is not a serviceable enough big man to regularly get playing time for the Celtics. Additionally, Theis has played the best basketball of his career with the Celtics and is reportedly open to a return to the team.
Ultimately, Theis’ cap hit is likely too big for the Celtics to take on. That said, Theis is a prime buyout candidate and could be on his way out soon anyway. If Brad Stevens displays some patience, bringing the big man back as a free agent could be in the cards and should be a no-brainer.