scorecardresearch Skip to main content

Four things to know about new Celtics forward Juancho Hernangomez

Juancho Hernangomez had his best season from a statistical standpoint last year with the Timberwolves.Andy Clayton-King/Associated Press

The latest addition to the Celtics roster? Juancho Hernangomez.

The Celtics agreed to a deal Friday with Memphis in which they sent Kris Dunn and Carsen Edwards to the Grizzlies for the forward.

Hernangomez is the sixth player (including Dunn) acquired by the Celtics in trades this offseason.

Here are four things to know about Hernangomez.

He’s coming off his best season from a volume stat standpoint

Hernangomez comes to Boston after putting up some of the best numbers in his career.

With the Timberwolves, he averaged a career-high 7.2 points in 17.3 minutes per game. The 25-year-old came off the bench for all but six of the 52 games he played in, adding 3.9 rebounds per game, the second-best number of his career.


Juancho Hernangomez averaged a career-high 7.2 points in 17.3 minutes per game last year.Andy Clayton-King/Associated Press

The improved stats aren’t a surprise if you look at what happened at the end of the previous season. After getting traded from the Nuggets to the Timberwolves at the trade deadline that year, Hernangomez averaged 12.9 points and 7.3 rebounds per game, starting all 14 games he played in.

Something that could be a bit of a concern: Hernangomez’s dip in 3-point shooting. In that 14-game stretch in 2020, Hernangomez shot 42 percent from 3-point territory but saw a steep decrease in 2020-21, making just 32.7 percent.

Over his five-year career, Hernangomez is a 35.1 percent 3-point shooter, which is right around league average. If he can make threes at an average clip, it could help the Celtics to have another forward who can stretch the floor, as centers Robert Williams and Enes Kanter don’t have much range as jump shooters.

He suffered a shoulder injury, leading to a fallout with the Timberwolves

In the leadup to the Olympics, Hernangomez suffered a dislocation of his left shoulder while playing for his native Spain. It appeared the injury would keep him out of the Games. However, he was added to Spain’s final Olympic roster in July.

It appeared Hernangomez was set to play until July 24 — the day after the Games began — when he was removed from the roster. The Spanish Basketball Federation alleged that the decision to pull Hernangomez came from Timberwolves president of basketball operations Gersson Rosas.


Spanish officials said both their doctors and Timberwolves doctors said Hernangomez could play, but Rosas said the Timberwolves doctors never approved it.

The Timberwolves’ decision to disallow Hernangomez from playing in the Olympics left the forward “deeply disappointed,” The Athletic’s Jon Krawczynski reported.

Hernangomez’s time in Minnesota ended shortly thereafter, when the team traded him to Memphis Aug. 25.

It’s unclear how long Hernangomez will be out, but players with a similar injury have missed several months, according to one analyst.

Hernangomez has shined in international play

Spain could have used Hernangomez in the Olympics.

He has played for his country on the international stage dating back to his teenage years, and helped the Spaniards earn a bronze medal at the European U-18 Championship in 2013. He followed that up with silver-medal finishes with the U-20 team in the 2014 and 2015 European Championship.

When he's been healthy, uancho Hernangomez has been a force in international play.Jim Mone/Associated Press

Hernangomez finally made his national team debut in 2017, playing in the EuroBasket tournament. He averaged 8.4 points and 5.9 rebounds per game in that tournament en route to a bronze-medal finish.

The progression continued in 2019: Hernangomez played a key role in the 2019 FIBA World Cup, averaging 10.5 points and 5.4 rebounds per game en route to winning the gold medal. In the final against Argentina, Hernangomez scored 11 points on 4-of-6 shooting, adding 5 rebounds in a 95-75 win.


Without Hernangomez, Spain was knocked out in the quarterfinals of this year’s Olympics by the United States.

His brother is also in the NBA

Juan isn’t the only Hernangomez in the NBA. His older brother Willy is in the league, too.

Willy was selected by the 76ers in the second round of the 2015 draft, a year prior to Juan entering the league, but he never played for the 76ers. After spending another year in Spain, Willy was traded to New York, where he played the first two years of his NBA career with the Knicks.

The Hornets traded for Willy during the 2017-18 season. After two-plus seasons in Charlotte, Willy signed a three-year deal with the Pelicans prior to the 2020-21 season.

Willy Hernangomez, a 6-foot-11-inch center, has averaged 7.1 points and 5.7 rebounds per game over his five-year career.