In a somewhat shocking trade that fortified a powerful 2023 title contender, the Celtics acquired Malcolm Brogdon from the Pacers for Aaron Nesmith, Daniel Theis, a 2023 first-round pick, Nik Stauskas, Malik Fitts and Juwan Morgan. Listed here are our grades.
The Celtics entered the offseason with few holes on a roster that was up 2–1 within the NBA Finals. But when anybody critique could possibly be levied after three straight losses that yielded a paltry 97.9 offensive rating and roughly 109 live-ball turnovers, it was their inability to fabricate clean offense without Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown being asked to lift greater than they might carry.
Wanting to make sure their Finals run was no fluke and that an absence of playmaking wouldn’t bite them again when it matters most, the Celtics acquired Malcolm Brogdon, the perfect point guard rumored to be available on the trade market. It’s a great addition to a team that wanted more offensive punch without having to sacrifice anything on the defensive end (their great strength and fundamental identity).
Brogdon is three years faraway from submitting a 50/40/90 campaign and averaged 19.1 points and 5.9 assists last 12 months, during a season during which his three-point shot faltered. Out of 55 players who logged not less than 500 possessions as a pick-and-roll ball-handler, only seven players were more efficient than Brogdon on plays that ended with him shooting or passing, per Synergy Sports.
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In Boston, where Tatum and Brown absorb most or the entire defense’s attention, Brogdon will cook. Put your third or fourth-best perimeter defender on him and good things will occur. Shots shall be more open than at any point since he left the Bucks in 2019, while, due to Marcus Smart and Derrick White, he’ll have the ability to rest a bit more on defense than he’s needed to the past few seasons. Robert Williams is a freakish lob threat and Al Horford is the stoic pick-and-pop partner who makes every ball-handler’s life a lot easier. (Danilo Gallinari can also be reportedly coming to Boston, which provides this team even more room/scoring options than they’ll know what to do with.)
It’s unlikely Boston changes its starting five, but Brogdon gives Ime Udoka more options off a bench that evaporated within the Finals. He’s also insurance within the event Smart (who badly sprained his ankle within the Eastern Conference finals) gets injured, and one other piece who can function in small-ball lineups that had quite a little bit of success throughout the playoffs.
Brogdon’s own health is a matter mark. He’s never crossed the two,000-minute mark in his profession, and in three years with the Pacers he appeared in 54, 56 and 36 games, respectively. But contenders rarely have a probability to accumulate someone this good, who’s of their prime, locked up for 3 more seasons on a manageable contract. The Celtics wish to win now, and never picking in the primary round three drafts in a row is a long-term blow they’re willing to soak up. The strategy is a no brainer.
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Boston believed White was its missing piece last 12 months. It was a couple of plays from being right. Now, with every rotational piece from last 12 months’s team still in tow (including Grant Williams, who the Pacers reportedly had interest in), the Celtics’ decision to maneuver one other first-round pick for Brogdon is a sign they aren’t willing to go away anything to probability. They weren’t satisfied running it back with the established order, and now enter the 2022–23 season with the NBA’s most complete team, without having to present up anyone who helped make their 2021–22 so special.
The Pacers are about to embark on a lengthy rebuild. Tyrese Haliburton is their franchise point guard they usually just took 6’6” Bennedict Mathurin with the No. 6 pick within the 2022 draft. Heading into the offseason, Brogdon, who’s 29 years old and was their highest-paid player, at all times made sense as a trade candidate. The query now, in case you’re a Pacers fan, is why didn’t they get more for him?
A primary-round pick is sweet, but for it to are available in 2023 from a Celtics team that has Finals aspirations likely means it’ll be within the high 20s. Aaron Nesmith is about to enter his third season and will still bloom in a latest environment, capable of showcase a bit more of the two-way skills that when convinced the Celtics he was price taking with the No. 14 pick within the 2020 draft. But he’s hardly a blue-chip prospect. Daniel Theis is 30.
That haul isn’t atrocious but was it really the perfect Indiana could do? Trades are complex negotiations and I’m sure they canvassed the league on the lookout for some combination of young talent and draft capital. The list of interested teams that need a guard and are willing to shed each of those things for Brogdon won’t have been so long, though. Perhaps they might’ve gotten a greater first from the Timberwolves to take D’Angelo Russell off their hands. But Brogdon isn’t the best fit on Karl-Anthony Towns and Anthony Edwards’s timeline.
The Wizards acquired Monte Morris earlier this week. The Knicks signed Jalen Brunson. The Bucks, Clippers and Nets haven’t any draft picks. The Mavericks are out a primary in 2023. If this was the perfect Indiana could do, one could argue that it’d be price bringing Brogdon into the season after which shipping him out to a desperate suitor that may overpay before the trade deadline. But for a team that wishes to lose within the short term, grabbing Nesmith and a first-round pick in July is seemingly something they desired to do.
More shoes will drop, too. Myles Turner remains to be around and will fetch one other pick and intriguing young piece. Same cope with Buddy Hield. The Pacers have already got a lottery-protected 2023 first coming their way from Cleveland and all their very own first-round picks going forward. It’s a team that has a protracted strategy to go before they’re good again. This was a good enough move (albeit unspectacular) to get them where they wish to go.
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