The Boston Celtics came within two wins of an NBA title last season, and they’re undoubtedly determined to finish the job in the 2022-23 campaign.
They’ve certainly improved this offseason, which is a scary thought for the rest of the NBA.
Boston’s big offseason splash came at the beginning of July.
Right when the month began, the team put together a deal for guard Malcolm Brogdon.
The Indiana Pacers are trading guard Malcolm Brogdon to the Boston Celtics, sources tell ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 1, 2022
Brogdon is no small addition.
The 29-year-old is an extremely well-rounded player, and he has flashed All-Star potential at certain points in his NBA career.
With the Celtics, Brogdon isn’t likely to become an All-Star, but that has very little to do with his abilities and a whole lot to do with the role he’s going to play.
He’s expected to lead Boston’s second unit.
Brogdon recently spoke about the role he envisions playing and explained some of the responsibilities that will come along with it.
“I envision being the sixth man, being a starter that comes off the bench,” Brogdon told the Boston Globe. “That’s really what it is, to be a vet that can slow the game down, control the pace, and help this team close games.”
As a sixth man, Brogdon could put the Celtics over the top.
Ready To Roll
During Brogdon’s introductory press conference with the Celtics, he made one thing very clear.
Not only is he willing to make sacrifices in the name of winning, he wants to.
“I want to come here and sacrifice to win,” Brogdon said after being asked about coming off the bench. “I think everybody on a great team, everybody sacrifices. [Jayson] Tatum, [Jaylen] Brown, all of us have to take things off our plate and sacrifice a few things.”
Brogdon has been a starter for the majority of his NBA career so far (he’s played in 333 career regular season games and started 258 of them), but he’s clearly more than willing to give that up this season.
As a sixth man, he’s going to bring a ton to the table for Boston.
For one, he’s a gifted scorer.
Over the past two seasons, he has averaged 20.4 points per game on 45.1 percent shooting from the field and 36.3 percent shooting from beyond the arc.
He’s also a valuable playmaker, as he has averaged 5.9 assists per game over that same span.
Additionally, the former second-round pick is a strong defender, which is crucial for success in Ime Udoka’s Celtics system.
The Celtics were the best defensive team in the NBA last season, and Brogdon is only going to make them better in that regard.
Malcolm Brogdon is a shooter, defender, ball-mover. High IQ player, high-character guy.
Tremendous trade by Brad Stevens.
— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanHoops) July 1, 2022
It’s rare for a team to have so much talent that a player like Brogdon lands with the second unit, but with reigning Defensive Player of the Year Marcus Smart running the show as Boston’s starting point guard, a sixth man role for Brogdon makes a lot of sense.
The newcomer will surely do everything in his power to get the Celtics over the hump as NBA champions, and the journey will begin on Oct. 18 when Boston opens its season against the Philadelphia 76ers.