I have scattered thoughts after the first few days of free agency. Some of them may become obsolete within a few hours, but most of them will not.
First of all, how can you not be thrilled at the Celtics landing Malcolm Brogdon at the price at which he cost? Only a protected first rounder, Daniel Theis, Aaron Nesmith, and a bench mob? That’s a steal. I mean, all respect to Theis, who filled in admirably for us (again). And best of luck to Crash Nesmith; I hope he finds his shot in Indy. I’ll miss the bench celebrations from Fitts and company. Still, this is Malcolm Brogdon we’re talking about.
Brogdon doubles down on the team’s identity of defense and ball movement, plus he can actually shoot! He was hurt last season, which is a big reason why he was available. His contract is perhaps a bit hefty for a rebuilding/retooling team like Indiana. But for a contender looking for the final few puzzle pieces, there’s no reason to complain about the cost - especially when it is essentially just the owners’ tax bill that is impacted.
Now the Celtics have a 3 headed monster rotation of ball handling guards in Marcus Smart, Derrick White, and Brogdon that they can mix and match beside the Jays and our big man rotation. I don’t yet know how Ime is going to handle the starting lineup or any of the rotations, but I’m honestly fine with anything he picks at this point.
I haven’t even mentioned Danilo Gallinari yet. I felt like he was maybe a little bit of a reach with the MLE, but after getting Brogdon I’m not sure I care anymore. He adds proven shooting as a wing or stretch 4. He’s lost a step or two, but I look at him as a nice regular season middle reliever. He’ll eat up minutes, score some points, and give the Jays a chance to get some rest. You might even be able to hide him on defense for stretches in the regular season. In the playoffs he might only play when you absolutely need more spacing on offense, but that’s fine. He’s a very solid pickup and when he’s hot he’s going to help us win games.
The Celtics seem very high on what Sam Hauser can bring the team this year. Again, he’s a guy that can spread the floor and drain shots with confidence. I’d still like to see the team add another veteran wing to give us more depth, but we’ll see what we can get for the vet minimum as the market develops. At this point the Celtics are a destination for ring chasing vets, so perhaps as the money dries up elsewhere, someone will fall into our laps.
We could also use another backup big now that Theis is leaving town. But again, that is a position where there’s usually more supply than demand, so I’m not overly worried about it.
As several have pointed out, I don’t really expect the Celtics to use a big portion of the TPE now that they’ve added all this salary. However, for the right guy I could see them using a smaller part of it (or one of the smaller TPEs).
There’s also a chance that Grant Williams could get a contract extension. We still have Payton Pritchard (who may be feeling left out of the party at guard). So there are still potential moves the team can make, but it is hard not to be very happy with the job that Stevens has done thus far.
This is way, way oversimplified, but if you think about it, the Wolves just sent out 4 draft picks plus a swap to land Rudy Gobert. Over the last 2 years, Stevens has traded 3 draft picks and a swap for Al Horford, Derrick White, and Malcolm Brogdon. Not bad.
Oh, and I feel like I’m obligated to discuss Kevin Durant in this space. I get it, he’s a wonderful player. One of the best to ever do it. But I really, really love this team that just went to the Finals. I don’t like the idea of breaking it all apart for anyone. So I’m going to politely bow out of the debates over who has more value and what it would actually cost. I would rather just not. Because this team is great.
So, what’s next? Can’t wait to find out.