Brad Stevens told the Globe’s Gary Washburn that Malcolm Brogdon was back in Boston and will be healthy and ready for training camp. He spent the summer rehabilitating his elbow — seemingly avoiding surgery — and is ready to proceed with the season ahead.
Stevens acknowledged that Brogdon was upset by the nearly-complete three-team trade that would have sent him to the Clippers. That deal fell through when the Clippers expressed concerns over Brogdon’s health and the Celtics front office pivoted in the wee hours of the night, instead dealing Marcus Smart to Memphis in order to acquire Kristaps Porzingis from the Wizards.
“I would say he had every right to feel [upset],” Stevens said. “We said that this summer. But he’s a real pro and so we’ve had several discussions. He’s looking forward to getting started. We’re looking forward to getting started and here we go.”
Given that the initial tread was reported on with so much certainty and specificity, it comes as no surprise that the dynamic with Brogdon became a bit strained as a result. In July, after Jaylen Brown signed his super max extension, head coach Joe Mazzulla briefly spoke about the organization’s relationship with Brogdon, and alluded to the fact that the team was intentional working on mending that relationship.
“There is a healing process, there is a listening process and to see where we are at and where we have to get to,” Mazzulla told reporters. “We’ve had some conversations as an organization but at the same time, we understand that’s the situation that it was and as the healing process goes on, we will move forward as well as you can.”
Then, over the past few weeks, Brogdon’s injury status and relationship with the team became the subject of much speculation.
First, Washburn described Brogdon as being “angry” with the team and said that he didn’t think “communication between the two sides have been fruitful.”
Then, ESPN’S Ramona Shelbourne speculated that “a lot of this has to do with what’s going on with his elbow” leading some to wonder if Brogdon was upset due to a mishandling of the injury.
Just yesterday, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst stated that the Celtics have been shopping Malcolm Brogdon since June and could enter the Jrue Holiday sweepstakes (Jrue was acquired by the Blazers in the blockbuster trade that landed Damian Lillard in Milwaukee, but is likely to be dealt to a contender shortly).
It’s unclear if any of this speculation is substantiated, and while Media Day on Monday will provide more clarity on where things stand, Stevens’s comments seem to be an encouraging sign.
In the same conversation with Gary Washburn, Stevens also told the Globe that Porzingis, the Celtics’ big offseason acquisition, is expected to be ready to go for training camp, which kicks off next week. He missed the entirety of the FIBA World Cup due to plantar fasciitis, a sort of heel pain that can sometimes become chronic.
The team’s official social media accounts began posting Porzingis content earlier this week.
“Kristaps has been running up and down the court the last few days,” Stevens said. “I thought the progression that his trainers there [in Latvia], our trainers here, and everybody came up with to get him back so that he could avoid anything lingering was a key.”
We’ll know more soon when players and coaches speak to media on Monday, but this is certainly a welcome tidbit from Boston’s President of Basketball Operations on the status of two key players. If everyone holds up, that means the Celtics roster will be completely healthy to start training camp, something the organization certainly won’t take for granted. And, it appears things are on the right track for Brogdon and the Cs.