Report: Pacers trading Malcolm Brogdon to Celtics

Malcolm Brogdon in Boston Celtics v Indiana Pacers
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The Celtics’ raised their defense to an elite level by shifting Marcus Smart from combo guard to starting point guard. With Smart at point guard, Boston had no weak links defensively. As important as high-end defenders are – and the Celtics have several – the absence of vulnerability is also crucial.

The downside: Boston’s offense sometimes stagnated with Smart at the controls.

“I hear the talks about ‘He’s not a true point guard’ and this and that. ‘They need a star point guard,’” Smart said. “We’ve had star point guards, and yet this so-called non-point guard is the only one that’s led them to the Finals.

“I think that right there says enough. I don’t really need to say too much more.”

The Celtics had little more to add, though.

They’re trading for Pacers point guard Malcolm Brogdon.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

Though not as imposing as Smart, who won Defensive Player of the Year, Brogdon is a solid defender. Brogdon definitely allows Boston to maintain its no-weak-links defensive identity.

While adding a playmaking flourish.

Unless Smart gets traded, it’ll be on Celtics coach Ime Udoka to manage two players who see themselves at point guards. Brogdon left the Bucks, who used him at shooting guard, in part because he wanted to play point guard. The 29-year-old won’t want the ball taken out of his hands now.

Boston has another couple point guards-types in Derrick White and Payton Pritchard. So, another deal is definitely possible. Especially because this trade (along with signing Danilo Gallinari) pushed the Celtics deeper into the luxury tax. With Boston in championship contention, this is the time to spend. But all these guards might be beyond the Celtics’ budget.

Despite signing an extension last year, Brogdon became expendable when the Pacers traded for Tyrese Haliburton, who’s both a point guard and younger. Indiana might not be fully rebuilding, but this is at least a patient buildup.

This is a pretty modest return for Brogdon. Boston should be very good next season, lowering the value of its first-round pick. Nesmith has struggled in the NBA, though maybe he’ll rediscover the shooting that made him the No. 14 pick in 2020. Daniel Theis carries negative value on his contract (guaranteed $17,802,755 over the next two years).