Grizzlies reportedly trade Xavier Tillman to Celtics for two second-round picks

MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE - JANUARY 13: Xavier Tillman #2 of the Memphis Grizzlies looks on during the game against the New York Knicks at FedExForum on January 13, 2024 in Memphis, Tennessee. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images)
The Memphis Grizzlies are reportedly dealing Xavier Tillman to the Boston Celtics. (Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images)

The Memphis Grizzlies are sending forward Xavier Tillman to the Boston Celtics in exchange for two second-round picks, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Wednesday. The Grizzlies will have a 2027 second-rounder via the Atlanta Hawks and another in 2030 from the Dallas Mavericks.

Fourth-year power forward Lamar Stevens will also land in Memphis as part of the trade, per Yahoo Sports senior NBA reporter Jake Fischer. The transaction won't use the traded player exception, as Tillman and Stevens are direct salary matches.

Boston was expected to send a bench player back to the Grizzlies in the deal in order to keep an empty roster spot. Stevens averaged 2.8 points, 1.6 rebounds and 6.4 minutes over 19 appearances for the Celtics this season.

The deal gives Boston another big man, adding depth behind Kristaps Porzingis, Al Horford and Luke Kornet in preparation for a title run. Tillman isn't known for his shooting, but he's proven to be a solid defensive presence in limited playing time.

Memphis selected Tillman with the 35th pick in the 2020 NBA Draft out of Michigan State. The 25-year-old is in his fourth season in the league, having only played for the Grizzlies. The new development in Tillman's career comes after Boston was reportedly the team most connected to him, in the case that he and Memphis couldn't reach an extension.

Tillman has been out of the Grizzlies' lineup for about a month as he deals with a left knee injury. He last played in the team's 116-111 loss to the Toronto Raptors on Jan. 3, but that doesn't mean he won't soon be available for the Celtics.

Over 34 appearances this season, Tillman is averaging six points, 4.6 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 1.2 steals and one block in 20.6 minutes.

He leaves the Grizzlies as they prepare for next season, having dealt center Steven Adams to the Houston Rockets in exchange for Victor Oladipo and three second-round picks on Feb. 1. They currently sit 13th in the Western Conference with an 18-33 record.