Daniel Theiss in the NBA with the Boston Celtics in the playoffs

aWhen Daniel Theis discovered two months ago that his career in the world’s best basketball league had taken an abrupt turn, he was faced with a panorama of feelings: “I don’t want to say I was shocked, but rather: the national player said when he returned to the Boston Celtics after a year on trips to Chicago and Houston”. The team that brought him from the Bundesliga to the NBA in 2017 where he made a name for himself as a trusted and enthusiastic center must have ditched him in the typical trade of American esports nearly a year ago.

But there was something about the process that former head coach Brad Stevens must have regretted at some point. From his point of view, a tough, physically strong and selflessly working man like 30-year-old Theis has always been an important tool: “He makes our best players,” Stevens said when asked why he was 2.06m tall – the man came back.

Two more Germans participated in the deals

I love this constellation. He quickly ignored questions about why. This is the other side of the glamorous life of a professional athlete in America: Money always plays a role and with it many nitty-gritty of the rules of the collective agreement with their payroll brakes such as the salary cap and the so-called luxury tax that teams have to pay once the cap is exceeded. “It is purely business. This is not against you personally. That is why I hold no grudge against anyone.”

Aside from the fact that – he had just returned – he had already developed a feeling that he had never gone away. And that he signed a respectable new contract with the Chicago Bulls along the way: a guaranteed $35.6 million total, for four years, nearly double the season’s amount as in the prior period. Several of his teammates were still there, and just before his return to Boston, they were back in full swing, having climbed to the upper echelons of the Eastern Conference with nine straight victories between January and February. On Sunday (9:30pm CST on DAZN) the Celtics will start in second against the Brooklyn Nets in the first playoff round and they are happy that Theis are available. Root Center Robert Williams had meniscus surgery two weeks ago and you may be missing out on a better than seven complete series.

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Meanwhile in Houston with The Rockets: Dennis Schroeder (left), NBA star
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Photo: USA TODAY Sports

By the way, Thes’ paths crossed twice with his colleagues from the German national team on his tour of the NBA. The first swap with Bulls brought Moritz Wagner from Berlin to the Celtics, who settled it a few days later, paving the way for a new contract with the Orlando Magic. The deal that brought Theiss back to Boston was at the expense of Dennis Schroeder, among others. Braunschweiger has been traded to the Houston Rockets, with his season ending early this week.

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