LAS VEGAS — The Celtics and the Thunder have agreed to a deal that will send forward Perry Jones III, cash considerations, and the Pistons’ 2019 second-round pick to Boston in exchange for a protected 2018 second-round pick, the teams announced on Tuesday.
“Oklahoma City has a great deal of depth on their frontcourt, so we’ve watched [Jones] play and followed him in his college career,” Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said. “He’s a terrific athlete. He’s someone whose game is much different than a lot of guys we have under contract right now, so we’ll see how he fits in with our system.”
The Thunder had previously acquired the 2019 pick from Detroit. Since teams must exchange assets in some form to complete a trade, the Celtics agreed to send the conditional second-round pick to the Thunder. But the contingencies on the Celtics’ pick are such that it is unlikely it will ever actually be shipped to Oklahoma City, a source said.
For the Thunder, this is a move done primarily for salary purposes. When Oklahoma City signed forward Enes Kanter to a max contract this week, it sent the team deep into the luxury tax. This move will ultimately lower that bill by about $7 million while also freeing up a roster spot.
For the Celtics, this was essentially a no-risk move. They used their newfound salary cap space to complete the deal and now will have a chance to evaluate Jones, or simply turn around and package him in a separate move.
“The benefits [of having cap space] are being able to use the cap space in a variety of ways, and one of them is to acquire young talent and to acquire picks by taking on contracts,” Ainge said. “The benefit is getting assets, sort of like we did last year with Tyler Zeller and Cleveland’s [first-round pick] with the trade exceptions, but this is a similar situation to that.”
Jones, 23, was selected with the 28th overall pick of the 2012 draft out of Baylor. Last season the 6-11 forward averaged 4.3 points and 1.8 rebounds in 14.7 minutes per game. He has shown flashes of potential, including a 32-point burst against the Clippers last October. But he has yet to show any real consistency. Jones is under contract for $2 million next season and could receive a qualifying offer in 2016.
Datome to Turkey
Former Celtics forward Gigi Datome has agreed to a three-year deal worth approximately $6 million with the Turkish club, Fenerbahce.
The Italian sharpshooter became a fan favorite in Boston after being acquired as part of the February trade that sent Tayshaun Prince to the Pistons. He shot 47 percent from the 3-point line with the Celtics, averaging 5.2 points and 10.7 minutes per game.
Datome said that the Clippers, Wizards, and Mavericks all expressed interest in signing him this offseason, but that none could offer a promise of playing time.
“I was looking for an opportunity to be in the rotation to be a backup, and all three of those teams were just looking to fill a spot on their roster,” Datome said by phone from Italy on Tuesday. “Nobody was guaranteeing me a spot in the rotation, and so I was looking for the best possibility for me.”
Allen on board
Jerome Allen acknowledges that it had been a difficult past few months since resigning from his head coaching position at Penn in March after six seasons. He helped out coaching at a local high school and plotted his next move.
A previous bond with Brad Stevens from his days at Butler had led to something unexpected, an offer to become a Celtics assistant coach after Darren Erman left to take an assistant position with the Pelicans.
Allen, 42, arrived in Las Vegas on Monday for the first official day of his new job and he was grateful for the opportunity.
“For me, it’s a blessing,” he told the Globe. “Brad had enough confidence in me to feel like I can add value. I am eager. I’m excited.”
Celtics forward Jonas Jerebko attended the team’s summer league game against the Heat on Tuesday night. Last week Jerebko re-signed with Boston, agreeing to a two-year, $10 million deal. Jerebko said he worked out with assistant coaches and forward Amir Johnson, who also signed with Boston last week . . . Marcus Thornton tallied 21 points in 19 minutes, leading the Celtics to a 101-69 romp over the Heat Tuesday night. With the win, the Celtics improved to 3-0 in the Las Vegas summer league and earned a bye in the first round of the playoffs, which begin Wednesday.
Gary Washburn of the Globe staff contributed to this report.