This offseason has been nothing short of a rollercoaster ride for the Boston Celtics. Between Malcolm Brogdon and Danilo Gallinari joining the team, Rob Williams’ and Gallinari’s injuries to Ime Udoka’s scandal that thrusted interim-head coach Joe Mazzulla into the spotlight. For better or for worse, it’s time for this team to turn towards the start of the season and put everything else in the rearview.
With the regular season just around the corner, Celtics fans are already seeing the horrors of the NEBH Injury Report with Williams III out for 8-12 weeks and Danilo Gallinari likely out for the entire season. However, in spite of everything, the C’s find themselves as a premier destination for veteran players and ring chasers.
A perfect example of this is Brogdon. Going into his seventh year, Brogdon has decided it’s time to win, “Brad Stevens gave me the option, and the Pacers did me really well,” said Brogdon “They gave me the option of picking between a few teams, and I picked Boston because I want to win,”
Blake Griffin is another great example. Griffin was warned by an unnamed Celtics player during the 2020-21 season not to join the team due to apparent dysfunction, before inevitably joining the Brooklyn Nets. Fast forward to the 2022-23 offseason, and Griffin is reportedly signing with the team, likely in pursuit of a championship.
With Boston becoming a prime destination for players who want to win a championship, it’ll be interesting to see where the Celtics land in the buyout market during the season. The splash they make will likely depend on where the team is with injury.
So, what has changed in two years that makes players like Brogdon and Griffin want to join the Celtics? The answer is: A lot.
For starters, the team chemistry. Long gone are the days of disgruntled players and questionable trades focused around injuries. Next, the talent of the whole roster. Over the last couple of seasons, through all of the ups and downs, Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart have truly come into their own, drastically improving their games. Finally, the fact that this team was two wins away from defeating the Golden State Warriors, one of the greatest dynasties in NBA history, in the Finals under a rookie head coach.
It doesn’t take a mathematician to see that this is the perfect equation to become a championship caliber team.
During the Finals, the Celtics were only a couple of pieces away, and that mainly comes down to the limited bench. That’s where the appeal is. Every player wants to be that “missing piece” to help any contender get over the hump and bring home the Larry O’Brien trophy.
It remains to be seen if Brogdon or Griffin are going to be that missing piece; but as of right now, Brogdon has had an immediate impact on the team, finishing with 11pts, 9ast and 5reb in their preseason opener win against the Charlotte Hornets.