Grading the Boston Celtics’ trade for Malcolm Brogdon, deal for Danilo Gallinari

The Boston Celtics made two big moves this week to bolster their bench and 2023 NBA Championship hopes, and managed to do both without giving up a ton of draft assets or key players in their appearance in the 2022 NBA Finals .

But how well did they work with these movements? Could they possibly have done better with the team using various team building tools that were available to them (and still are for now) than trading for Indiana Pacers point guard Malcolm Brogdon? Could they possibly be a better fit for their $6.5 million taxpayer mid-level exception (MLE), which saw them sign veteran forward Danilo Gallinari?

Let’s dive into the two transactions the Celtics agreed on as the centerpiece (we think, anyway) of their 2022 offseason.

Signing Danilo Gallinari for the mini-midlevel exception

(Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

The Celtics managed to secure the team a longstanding taxpayer goal or mid-level “mini” exemption of $6.5 million in former Atlanta Hawks forward Danilo Gallinari.

The 13-season veteran has lost some of the mobility that kept him playing as a winger earlier in his career, but has focused on his shooting and size to expand his ability to win at the NBA level by scoring reinvents himself as a big man. And at 6-foot-10, Gallinari has the size to hold his own against all but the strongest frontcourt players.

Still, he’s a bit defensive, but with the Celtics returning the NBA’s top defense in the second half of the 2021-22 season, it shouldn’t be hard to hide him in the regular season, giving Boston another option in the playoffs, although he’ll be more of a drag in a seven-game streak.

Could the Celtics have found a better option to help with the mini-MLE price point? There may have been (and still are) sexier candidates like TJ Warren or Montrezl Harrell, but both also have concerns about future availability for very different reasons.

It might have been possible to find a player who could have offered more advantages than the Italian veteran, but first that player has to be willing to join your team. Add in potential out-of-league health or issues and the fact that Gallinari actually wanted to be in Boston, and this deal looks even better.

Is player option ideal for the Celtics? Probably not – but we’re not going to argue about a potentially important signing for a title contender, which in hindsight could very well look like a bargain.

class: B+

Acting for Malcolm Brogdon

Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Boston Celtics fizzled out in the 2022 NBA Finals as their stars lost their legs after a grueling trek to the league’s biggest stage, compounded by constant turnovers, poor late decision-making and a lack of help from their development-focused bench.

To remedy that, team president Brad Stevens traded a deep rotation with Daniel Theis, a promising young winger with Aaron Nesmith, and a trio of reserves who only play in garbage times with Nik Stauskas, Malik Fitts and Juwan Morgan plus a top-12 protected first-round pick 2023

Given that the team would likely have attempted to move away from Theis after signing Gallinari, the addition of a 6ft 5 player at Brogdon offers point guard for a small ball forward in some lineups , Boston tons of opportunities to work with tactically.

The 29-year-old brings established maturity and leadership qualities, as well as high-level playmaking and shooting, to the team and, despite recurring, nagging injury problems, should help bolster the Celtics’ need for high-level games that would give them rest star wing Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum more.

It also gives them a variety of rotation options to spell out the often-injured Marcus Smart and the sometimes cold-shooting Derrick White. That the Celtics were able to make this trade without parting ways with Grant Williams or Payton Pritchard or making multiple firsts makes the trade even more impressive for Boston.

Injury concerns and the size of Brogdon’s current contract (about $67 million over 3 seasons) are the only things preventing a perfect assessment of the Celtics’ trade for the Pacers’ floor general, but we still see this as a brilliant deal .

class: A

This post originally appeared on Celtics Wire.

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