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Celtics end up trading Abdel Nader to Thunder in cost-saving move

Abdel Nader averaged 3 points and 1.5 rebounds in 48 games for the Celtics last season.file/Michael Dwyer/Associated Press/Associated Press

The Celtics on Monday traded forward Abdel Nader and cash considerations to the Oklahoma City Thunder in exchange for guard Rodney Purvis.

This is a cost-saving move for Boston, which had intended to waive Nader before this deal emerged. Nader had a partial $450,000 guarantee for next season. His full $1.4 million salary would have been guaranteed if he was still on the roster on Aug. 1. The Celtics are currently above the tax line, so if they had waived Nader they would also have had to pay tax on his $450,000 guarantee if they remained a tax team at season’s end.


Purvis’s deal, meanwhile, is fully non-guaranteed, and Boston is expected to waive him after the deal is completed. According to a league sources, the team told Nader on Saturday that it intended to waive him, but then this trade materialized.

Nader averaged 3 points and 1.5 rebounds in 48 games for Boston as a rookie last season. The Celtics selected him with the 58th overall pick of the 2016 draft and he spent that year playing for the team’s G-League affiliate, the Maine Red Claws.

Nader’s agent, Cervando Tejeda, said the Thunder have indicated they intend to keep the second-year forward. If Boston had waived Nader, the Thunder would not have been able to acquire Nader on his current contract; he also could have been picked up by another team.

“Boston was a team that gave Abdel a chance by drafting him in the second round, and investing in him and putting him in the G-League for a year, and he dominated that year,” Tejeda said. “I think last year he learned a lot being around a championship organization. I appreciate Danny Ainge, Dave Lewin, Austin Ainge and Mike Zarren for really believing in the kid and taking a chance on the kid.”


Adam Himmelsbach can be reached at adam.himmelsbach@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @adamhimmelsbach.