Trade Breakdown: Malcolm Brogdon To Celtics

This is the eighth entry in our sequence breaking down the main trades of the 2022 offseason. As against giving out grades, this sequence will discover why the groups had been motivated to make the strikes. Let’s dive right into a deal that despatched the 2017 Rookie of the Year from the Pacers to the Celtics


The day after free company, the Pacers agreed to ship Malcolm Brogdon to the Celtics in alternate for Daniel Theis, Aaron Nesmith, Me Stauskas, Juan Morgan, Malik Fitts and the Celtics’ 2023 first-round decide (top-12 protected). Stauskas, Morgan and Fitts have subsequently been waived by Indiana, so they’re not on the group’s roster.

The Pacers’ Perspective:

Why would the Pacers be keen to surrender a participant who averaged 21.2 PPG, 5.3 RPG and 5.9 APG on .453/.388/.864 taking pictures simply two seasons in the past?

After sending two-time All-Star Domantas Sabonis to Sacramento in February for a package deal headlined by level guard Tyrese Haliburtonthe Pacers successfully signaled {that a} retooling course of was underway and Brogdon’s time in Indiana was nearing an finish.

The downside was, Brogdon was injured for a lot of 2021/22 and was ineligible to be traded after signing a veteran extension simply earlier than the season began, so the Pacers needed to wait till the season was over to deal him.

Injury issues have plagued Brogdon all through his six-year profession. He has missed 140 common season video games over that span, showing in a mean of simply over 70% of his group’s video games.

Last season, he missed a career-high 46 video games, though it is doable he might have been intentionally held out of a few of these contests for tanking functions and to protect his long-term well being.

Brogdon will earn $67.6MM over the subsequent three seasons, together with $22.6MM in ’22/23. In order to match his wage and make the commerce authorized, the Celtics needed to embody 5 gamers of their package deal — the priciest of these gamers, Theis, is making $8.69MM subsequent season, whereas Nesmith will earn $3.8MM. Only Theis has assured cash past subsequent season, incomes $9.1MM in ’23/24.

By shedding Brogdon’s wage, waiving Duane Washington‘s non-guaranteed deal, and utilizing the stretch provision to unfold the partial ensures owed to Stauskas, Morgan and Fitts throughout three seasons, the Pacers created sufficient cap room to signal a restricted free agent Deandre Ayton to a four-year, maximum-salary supply sheet. The Suns ended up matching the supply, so Indiana nonetheless has about $31MM in cap room out there because the ’22/23 season approaches.

After serving as a high-level position participant for the Bucks from 2016-19, averaging 12.8 PPG, 3.5 RPG and three.6 APG on .484/.408/.895 taking pictures whereas taking part in strong protection, Brogdon desired an expanded position and was signed- and-traded to Indiana for a first-round decide and two second-rounders.

Brogdon had an up-and-down tenure with the Pacers. His counting stats definitely received higher on paper, as he averaged 18.9 PPG, 5.1 RPG and 6.3 APG over the previous three seasons. However, he took a step again on protection, and his scoring effectivity took a success — his .447/.352/.872 taking pictures line was nonetheless strong, however nothing particular.

At 29 years previous, Brogdon not match with Indiana’s rebuilding timeline. He had functioned because the group’s lead ball-handler when wholesome, however with Haliburton on board, he grew to become redundant.

I’m skeptical that Theis will play a lot for Indiana after having a poor season within the first 12 months of his new contract, particularly contemplating he is 30 years previous himself. He is perhaps a veteran presence for a younger group, however the majority of the frontcourt minutes will go to Jalen Smithwho re-signed with the Pacers in free company, second-year massive man Isaiah Jacksonand veteran middle Myles Turner – assuming he is nonetheless on the roster.

After being chosen No. 14 total within the 2020 draft, Nesmith by no means discovered a foothold in Boston’s rotation throughout his first two NBA seasons, showing in a complete of 98 video games for a mean of simply 12.7 MPG. I’m positive that was partly on account of his efficiency – he averaged 4.2 PPG and a couple of.2 RPG whereas taking pictures .417/.318/.796 – however he was additionally caught behind two of one of the best wings within the league in Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brownso minutes had been laborious to return by.

The Pacers reportedly view Nesmith as a possible “3-and-D” participant, and at 22 years previous, he suits in with Indiana’s youth motion. There is a few untapped upside right here – he was the final decide of the lottery two years in the past – however whether or not it involves fruition or not shall be as much as Nesmith.

Still, the first attraction of this commerce for Indiana was shifting off Brogdon’s long-term wage and including Boston’s 2023 first-round decide, which is able to probably be within the late 20s. The Pacers additionally management their very own first-rounder subsequent season in addition to the Cavaliers’ lottery-protected decide, so they might have as much as three first-round choices within the 2023 draft.

The Celtics’ Perspective:

In buying Brogdon, Boston didn’t surrender something of serious worth from final season’s group, which made it to the NBA Finals for the primary time since 2010, finally shedding in six video games to the Warriors. Theis was the one participant of the 5 outgoing items who performed semi-regular postseason minutes, however he had a fairly dreadful displaying – the group was 14 factors per 100 possessions higher with him off the courtroom than on it.

Giving up a future first-rounder that is prone to land within the late 20s is a basic win-now transfer for a Celtics group that hopes to win two extra playoff video games in ’22/23 with the intention to win an 18th title, probably breaking a tie with the Lakers for essentially the most championships in NBA historical past.

As a results of including Brogdon’s $22.6MM wage and signing To Danilo Gallina with the taxpayer mid-level exception, the Celtics shall be properly over the luxurious tax line subsequent season, one other signal that Boston is invested in profitable the championship.

Brogdon is a proficient and expert participant. At 6’5″ and 229 kilos, he is extra of a combo guard than some extent guard, which has its execs and cons.

Part of the rationale why he was a generally awkward match with the Pacers is as a result of he primarily functioned because the group’s level guard, however he is not fast sufficient to remain in entrance of smaller, shiftier gamers. He is, nonetheless, able to guarding larger wings, as he makes use of his energy and toughness to carry his floor.

Brogdon makes use of that energy on offense to his benefit as properly, bullying smaller gamers in drives to the basket. He is not the quickest or most athletic participant, however he can get to his spots for essentially the most half and does a strong job of drawing contracts.

During Brogdon’s tenure, the Pacers additionally had Victor Oladipo and Caris LeVert at taking pictures guard, two different score-first gamers who aren’t nice shooters. That generally led to some ugly “it is my flip now” offensive possessions as a substitute of correct ball motion.

If Brogdon tries to play like he did for the Pacers, Celtics followers in all probability will not be pleased with the outcomes, but when he accepts his position as a sixth man and acts as extra of a tertiary play-maker like he did with Milwaukee, he might be a really perfect match offensively.

During his run with the Bucks, Brogdon tried 22.9% of his threes from the corners and transformed 48.9% of these appears – an elite quantity. With Indiana, solely 11.3% of his three-point makes an attempt got here from the corners and he transformed 37.1% of them. Again, that was partly a results of Indiana’s poor spacing and Brogdon serving as a main ball-handler.

Brodgon’s shot is sluggish and mechanical, with a low launch level. He wants time to get it off. But he’ll get loads of open appears from the corners if he performs inside the movement of Boston’s offense.

While Brogdon is a serious offensive improve over each Marcus Smart and Derrick White, he’s a major downgrade defensively. He is not a legal responsibility, however he is not a constructive both, particularly when guarding smaller gamers. Al Horford and Robert Williams will assist erase a few of these considerations.

I’m curious to see how Brogdon and White will play collectively, as a result of each are sensible passers after they’re so inclined. Both want area to really feel comfy taking soar pictures.

It’s laborious to not see this commerce as a win for the Celtics, even when the Pacers additionally completed their purpose of shifting off Brogdon’s wage, including one other first-rounder, and creating extra taking part in time for his or her younger core.

Brogdon is a really productive participant. He might be the lacking piece that pushes the Celtics excessive in the event that they’re capable of attain the Finals once more.

The solely actual query on Boston’s finish is, can he keep wholesome? If so, the group acquired a participant who’s an offensive improve over any of its incumbent guards with out taking something away from its core.

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