When the Boston Celtics didn’t make any moves on the first night of the free hand, some fans grew restless. Other teams traded left and right, and it seemed like the Celtics were just standing by. But that feeling didn’t last long.
Less than 24 hours after opening free agency, Brad Stevens followed suit. He signed a two-year deal with Italy forward Danilo Gallinari, trading for combo guard Malcolm Brogdon without giving up a core rotation player.
On July 4th, Andy Bailey of Bleacher Report wrote an article about the past winners and losers of free agency. In the piece, he declared the Celtics winners, not the two moves above as the main reasons behind it.
“This movement [the Brogdon trade] alone would have been good enough to declare the Celtics winners, but they didn’t stop there,” Bailey wrote. “After a buyout from the San Antonio Spurs (who acquired him from the Atlanta Hawks in a Murray trade), Danilo Gallinari signed with Boston. He’s past his prime, but he’s still a moneyball offensive player who will be able to swing games as a reserve. Adding these two to a rotation that has already made it to the finals feels like a steal.”
Bailey also detailed the Brogdon trade and explained why it was such a win for the Celtics.
Why Brogdon Trade was a big win
Not only did the Celtics trade for Brogdon without giving up any real rotation figures, but they also filled a hole in their roster. They added some extra playmaking that they could have used at the Finals last season.
“Most importantly, they took Malcolm Brogdon for a first-round pick without giving up a single surefire rotation player,” Bailey explained. “He’s exactly the kind of player Boston seemed to need in the Finals: a stable playmaker big enough to play in the Celtics’ turbulent defensive system.”
However, Bailey also admitted there is some risk involved with Brogdon as he often gets injured. While Bailey noted that “his injury history is concerning, but at the price Boston paid for him, it’s a no-brainer.”
Last season, albeit in just 36 games played, Brogdon averaged 19.1 points, 5.1 rebounds and 5.9 assists on 44.8% shots from the field and 31.2% from beyond the three-point arc.
Both Brogdon and Gallinari should be able to assist Boston at an invited Eastern Conference next year.
Celtics have a good chance of winning the East
While the Eastern Conference has gotten better during free agency, so have the Celtics. Their moves have allowed them to keep up with their competition, and according to Bailey, they have a good chance of repeating themselves as Eastern Conference champions.
“The Milwaukee Bucks want to compete again. The Philadelphia 76ers improved this offseason (in large part thanks to the pre-free-agency acquisition of De’Anthony Melton). And the Miami Heat probably won’t go away,” Bailey said. “But Boston has significantly increased its chance of winning the East again.”
Storming through the playoffs and reaching the NBA Finals is never easy, but with the moves they’ve made this summer, the Celtics are well-equipped to break through again next season.
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