Brad Stevens just pulled off a fleecing.
The Celtics acquired Pacers guard Malcolm Brogdon Friday in exchange for some spare parts and a draft pick with little value. Daniel Thies, Aaron Nesmith, Nik Stauskas, Malik Fitts, Juwan Morgan and a 2023 first round selection is all it took to land Brogdon, a Rookie of the Year winner and point guard who averages nearly 20 points per game.
How does Danilo Gallinari help the Celtics?
It’s another great deal for Stevens.
In a stark departure from Danny Ainge, Stevens is willing to deal late first round picks for actual players who are likely better than anybody the Celtics could pick in the 20s. For years, Ainge stood pat the trade deadline and was conservative in the offseason so he could draft stiffs such as James Young and Romeo Langford.
Stevens rightfully recognizes there’s little value in hoarding bench fillers.
This trade is similar to the Celtics’ deadline acquisition of Derrick White, in which they gave Josh Richardson, Langford, this year’s first round pick and a 2028 pick swap to the Spurs. Over the last year, Stevens has turned Richardson, Thies, Langford, Nesmith and Kemba Walker into White, Brogdon and Al Horford. The Celtics also signed Danilo Gallinari Friday, giving them a knockdown shooter off the bench.
Talk about maximizing your assets.
Brogdon gives the Celtics the backcourt scoring they desperately need. He’s a career 37.6 percent shooter from 3-point range and has averaged 18.9 points per game over his last three seasons in Indiana. As a bonus, he’s a solid defender, so the Celtics aren’t sacrificing their strength on that end of the floor.
There does seem to be a bit of a roster crunch at point guard now. The Celtics are slated to allocate roughly $54 million next season for three guards: Brogdon, White and Marcus Smart.
But roster redundancy grants the Celtics flexibility. Smart is probably not thrilled with this deal, but the season doesn’t begin for nearly another four months. There’s plenty of time for everything to be sorted out.
The Celtics have options. It’s a great place to be.