When the Celtics made the trade for Malcolm Brogdon, it was viewed around the NBA world that he was the player that will perfectly solve two of their biggest needs.
Brogdon offers playmaking and shotmaking the Celtics could’ve used in the last three games of their Finals loss to the Warriors. He averaged 18.9 points on .447/.352/.872 shooting splits and 6.3 assists per game over the last three seasons with the Pacers.
That might be why a rival executive was upset to see the Celtics pull off the trade for Brogdon while giving up very little.
“He will [be a serious help for the Celtics]. He’ll be good for them,” an Eastern Conference executive told Heavy.com’s Steve Bulpett. “Going to Boston, with strong people around him, unfortunately, yes, he’ll be good for them. I think he’s going to make them a lot better — which p***** me off.”
The unnamed Eastern Conference exec wasn’t the only one to heap praise toward the Celtics. Another “Eastern Conference source” told Bulpett that “Brogdon could be really big for them.”
“But after how Boston got it together and got to the Finals, we’re all looking at them now — and they got better. A lot better. They got a shooter (Danilo Gallinari) and they got a guard who can be solid on both ends and can go for a big number offensively in the right situation.”
The moves for Brogdon and Gallinari, a 38.2 percent 3-point shooter over his 14-year career, have also made the Celtics the favorite to win the title in some eyes. Right after the Brogdon trade was reported, the Celtics actually became the favorite to win the title on multiple sportsbooks. Weeks later, Boston remains the favorite to win the title in 2023 on DraftKings Sportsbook.
Some sportsbooks have also begun releasing over/under win totals for the 2022-23 season. PointsBet lists the Celtics’ win total at 55.5, which is the highest on its available over/under win total list. Following a slow start in 2021-22, the Celtics won 51 games to earn the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference.
Outside of Brogdon and Gallinari, Boston’s mostly made moves at the end of its roster this offseason. The Celtics selected Alabama guard JD Davison late in the second round with their only pick in the 2022 NBA Draft. They also re-signed Sam Hauser to a three-year deal in hopes that he’ll crack the rotation soon and kept center Luke Kornet.
While the Celtics didn’t give up any major rotational players in the trade for Brogdon, they gave up their insurance at center in Daniel Theis. The five-year vet started five games in the playoffs when Robert Williams wasn’t available. The Celtics also opted to rest Al Horford for many of the back ends of back-to-backs last season, with Theis logging more minutes in such games after he was traded back to Boston in February.
No matter how the Celtics decide to replace Theis though, the trade for Brogdon has several people ready to call them the favorite to win it all in 2023.
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