Brad Stevens said after the NBA Finals that the Boston Celtics needed more playmaking, and more playmaking they just received in guard Malcolm Brogdon after ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported a trade between the Celtics and the Indiana Pacers for the borderline All-Star guard.
The Celtics are sending Daniel Theis, Aaron Nesmith and a 2023 first-round pick, sources tell ESPN. https://t.co/etqmr9l0l7— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 1, 2022
Malcolm Brogdon will head to the Celtics in exchange for Daniel Theis (acquired at last year’s trade deadline), Aaron Nesmith, Nik Stauskas, Juwan Morgan, Malik Fitts and a 2023 first rounder. One player for five outbound players will leave the Celtics with plenty of roster spots to fill, which opens up playing time as well for players like Grant Williams and the newly acquired Danilo Gallinari.
Brad Stevens clearly does not care for first round picks (as he shouldn’t). Since taking the job, Stevens has traded away the 2021 first for Al Horford, the 2022 first for Derrick White, and now the 2023 first for Malcolm Brogdon.
Brogdon is a fantastic player. He has injury concerns, but with a team that has a stacked backcourt featuring Marcus Smart and Derrick White, the team will be in good shape. Brogdon is definitely a point guard, but not a ball-dominant guard to the point where he and Smart can’t co-exist and share ball-handling duties. This will allow Smart to not move completely off the ball while also making use of Brogdon’s spot-up shooting ability.
And if teams can survive that, they have the ultimate connector off the bench in Derrick White.
Wojnarowski reported that the Pacers were initially interested in Grant Williams, but with giving up Theis, the extension-eligible Williams stands to continue to have a second big season as a backup big who can probably approach nightly minutes of 30 MPG depending on how the rotation shakes out. With Brogdon coming in, Ime Udoka will likely need to rethink the most dominant starting lineup in basketball last season, potentially moving Al Horford to the bench.
Last season, Malcolm Brogdon averaged 19.1 points, 5.1 rebounds and 5.9 assists in just 36 games on shooting splits of 45/31/86. Between Brogdon’s 5.9 assists, Smart’s 5.9 assists and White’s 4.9 assists, the Celtics have a ton of playmaking in the backcourt. And that’s without mentioning Jayson Tatum.
The Celtics are in a much better position now than they were an hour ago, with plenty of moves left to be made. There are plenty of roster spots open with the veteran minimum and several traded player exceptions available for use. Stay tuned for what’s next.