Back in June, the Boston Celtics reportedly had a three-team deal in place with the Washington Wizards and Los Angeles Clippers that would have sent reigning Sixth Man of the Year Malcolm Brogdon to Clippers and Kristpas Porzingis to the Celtics. However, the deal fell through after the Clippers reportedly grew concerned over Brogdon’s health and the partial tear in his forearm he suffered in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals.
Though Brad Stevens and the Celtics have remained consistent in their belief Brogdon will be ready to go for the start of camp, the Clippers backed out, creating an awkward situation between Brogdon and the Celtics and raising questions about his relationship with the team.
After the failed trade, head coach Joe Mazzulla suggested there would be a “healing process” between Brogdon and the organization.
“I think any time you’re in a situation like that and you’re in a relationship, you just have to take small steps into it,” Mazzulla said.
“There’s a healing process, there is a listening process and there is a process toward where we’re at and where we have to get to. We’ve had some conversations as an organization, but at the same time we understand the situation that it was, and as the healing process goes on, we’re continuing to move forward as well as we can.”
However, according to ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne, Brogdon’s frustration with the Celtics may not stem from the failed trade after all.
“I don’t think the bad feelings are over including him in any trade discussions,” Shelburne said on ESPN’s NBA Today.
“He’s a professional, he knows this stuff happens… I think a lot of this has to do with what’s going on with his elbow,” Shelburne added. “He had that golfer’s elbow during the playoffs. There was some sense he might need to get surgery on it and he did not do that. There is a question of when he might be available, how he’s available. This is what you are going to pay Joe Mazzulla and Brad Stevens big money for. You have to mend some fences here."
Shelburne also added that she does not expect trade talks around the 30-year-old guard to restart. If that’s the case, a conversation like the one referenced by Mazzulla may be necessary for the two sides to settle their differences before the start of camp.
Mazzulla has already announced Derrick White will be replacing Marcus Smart as the team’s starting point guard this season, which means Brogdon will be assuming a role similar to the one he flourished in a season ago.
With training camp set to open in less than two weeks, the situation between Brogdon and the Celtics will be one to monitor.