The Boston Celtics acquired Malcolm Brogdon from the Indiana Pacers on Friday, sources told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, delivering the kind of playmaking point guard that president of basketball operations Brad Stevens and coach Ime Udoka believed they needed to elevate the franchise as a championship contender.
The Pacers will get a 2023 first-round pick and five players from the Celtics in exchange, including center Daniel Theis and 2021 first-round pick Aaron Nesmith, sources told Wojnarowski.
Stevens specifically identified playmaking as a problem in his postseason meeting with reporters following the Celtics’ loss to the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals.
“I think we need a little more plays,” Stevens said earlier this month. “I think it’s real… We have to make sure we keep playing with rhythm. When we’re at our best, we play with rhythm.”
“… But there’s no question, in this league, the more guys that can make a play offensively, the better. And the challenge again is making sure that whatever you do around the fringes of our roster, we have a unique identity and we have uniqueness in our size and our ability to be versatile across the board, so we have to keep that in mind when we add to our team. But if we can maintain that and add some plays, yes, without a doubt, you want to do that.” .
The Celtics certainly added something by signing the 29-year-old Brogdon, who averaged 19.1 points, 5.1 rebounds and 5.9 assists in 33 games last season with Indiana.
The versatile 6-foot-5 shooting guard not only helps Boston in a variety of offensive ways, both as a passer and a 37.6% shooting 3-point shooter, but he’s also another long, lanky defender to add to a stable of great Celtics guards that include reigning Defensive Player of the Year Marcus Smart and Derrick White, whom Boston acquired in a different trade at the February trade deadline.
Boston got Brogdon without sacrificing any of the top eight players in its playoff rotation. The Celtics could add a second player in the coming days, as sources have told Wojnarowski that once the San Antonio Spurs finalize the long-awaited release of forward Danilo Gallinari, his preference is to join the Celtics after clearing waivers.
Those additions would also address other needs — depth and scoring off the bench — that Stevens pointed out once the season was over.
“I think we have to walk a little bit of a fine line,” Stevens said then. “I think teams are fragile. I think the way teams work together and operate together is fragile. And I think your identity as a team, when you find one that’s successful, we did it this year on the defensive end of the floor. and when we were at our best sharing the ball offensively, those things are fragile.
“So just adding doesn’t mean you’re not taking something away from the group. And changing significant parts of the group doesn’t mean that it can’t totally take your identity and change it in a direction that’s not that successful. So, it’s a very Fine. If you ask me right now what we need, I’d like to have a little more scoring — consistent scoring — off the bench. I think we have some short-term needs there.”
Meanwhile, Indiana continues to realign its roster around its young backcourt of Tyrese Haliburton, whom the Pacers acquired at last season’s trade deadline in a Domantas Sabonis deal with the Sacramento Kings, and rookie Bennedict Mathurin. , the sixth overall pick in the NBA last week. recruit.
Theis averaged 8.2 points and 4.9 rebounds in 47 games between Houston and Boston last season, while Nesmith, a first-round pick in 2020, averaged 3.8 points in 52 games.
The contracts of Malik Fitts, Nik Stauskas and Juwan Morgan, who are headed to Indiana, will need to be guaranteed for the deal to work under NBA salary-cap rules.
Brogdon was also re-elected in March to a three-year term as vice chairman of the executive committee of the NBA Players Association.