According to several reports, the Celtics are using the Traded Player Exception (TPE), acquired in the deal that sent Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett to the Nets, to make the move. The Celtics will also give up a second-round pick.

Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge appears to have timed this deal in conjunction with Cleveland's desire to clear salary cap space to make a run at free agent LeBron James. In helping the Cavs clear Jarrett Jack's salary, the Celtics pick up three valuable assets. They may also have facilitated James's return to Cleveland and exodus from Miami.

The Cavaliers drafted the 7-foot-1-inch Zeller out of North Carolina with the 17th pick in the 2012 NBA Draft. He has career averages of 6.9 points and 4.9 rebounds per game. He gives the Celtics (finally) a center to pair with their crush of power forwards on the front line.

Thornton is a 26-year-old shooting guard who has played with three teams in seven NBA seasons. He averaged 12.3 points in 26 games for Brooklyn last season, but most of his value from Boston's perspective is his expiring $8.69 million contract.