The way things are going, the Boston Celtics don’t need to make any drastic changes this offseason. They are currently one win away from an NBA Finals birth and five wins away from their first title since 2008. A drastic core change is probably not on their radar.
That being said, there’s always room for improvement in the NBA. While most of the Celtics’ core players are under team control heading into next season, it could be worth exploring the trade market as they can improve their depth.
According to Bleacher Report’s Zach Buckley, Boston’s dream target this summer should be Indiana Pacers guard Malcolm Brogdon. The 6’5 combo guard could offer the Celtics a great mix of shooting, playmaking and defense.
Brogdon averaged 19.1 points, 5.1 rebounds and 5.9 assists for the Pacers last season, with 44.8% shooting from the field and 31.2% from deep. However, the 29-year-old was only used in 36 games. In fact, Brogdon has not played more than 64 games since his rookie season.
Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer noted that Brogdon could likely be out this offseason, opening a window for the Celtics to make a deal.
Pacers ‘expected’ to scout Brogdon Trades
At the close of trading that year, the Pacers blasted their roster by dealing out Domantas Sabonis to the Sacramento Kings. In exchange, they received a potential franchise centerpiece in Tyrese Haliburton, but their rebuild is far from complete. According to Fischer May 11, Indiana is expected to explore trade options for Brogdon this summer.
“The Pacers’ anticipated exploration of point guard Malcolm Brogdon’s trade market is another looming wild card this summer,” Fischer said. The former Rookie of the Year winner has been a dependable guard throughout his career, and the Pacers could give the veteran some solid pickings.
Brogdon is set to earn $22.6 million next season and is under contract for the next three years. He will earn $21.6 million in the 2023-24 season and $23.3 million in 2024-25. That hefty salary might make it a little harder to close trades, but Brodgon’s steady hand on offense could be worth the price for some teams.
It wouldn’t be easy for the Celtics to close a trade for Brogdon. However, Buckley thinks they could pair him with their Big 3 of Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart.
Brogdon could be a ‘favorite’ in the Celtics roster
Buckley noted that Brogdon’s ability to play in multiple positions would make him the perfect candidate for Boston. In addition, he mentioned that Brogdon’s abilities would complement Tatum, Brown, and Smart nicely.
“He could continue to improve this club’s playmaking and is just as strong off the ball meaning he wouldn’t step on the toes of the Jays or Marcus Smart,” Buckley wrote. “Brogdon’s defense could make him a favorite of coach Ime Udoka and Brogdon’s experience could make for a smooth transition to the dressing room.”
With Brogdon’s $22.6 million salary, the Celtics would have to trade one of Smart, Derrick White, Al Horford or Robert Williams into the deal. But with Buckley mentioning Smart’s fit with the importance of Brogdon and Horford and Williams to the team, White would likely be the outsider.
If the Celtics are able to “take Brogdon’s health risks,” as Buckley put it, he could prove a worthy trade target this offseason.