I scattered thoughts after the first days of free will. Some of them may become obsolete within hours, but most of them will not.
First off, how can you not be thrilled with Celtics landing Malcolm Brogdon at the price he cost? Only a protected first-rounder, Daniel Theis, Aaron Nesmith and a host of benches? It’s a flight. I mean, all due respect to Theis, who did our part admirably (again). And good luck to Crash Nesmith; I hope he finds his chance in Indy. I will miss the bench celebrations of Fitts and company. Yet it is Malcolm Brogdon we are talking about.
Brogdon doubles the team identity in defense and ball movement, plus he can actually shoot! He was injured last season, which is one of the main reasons he was available. His contract might be a bit heavy for a rebuilding/retooling team like Indiana. But for a candidate looking for the final pieces of the jigsaw, there’s no reason to complain about the cost – especially when it’s essentially the owners’ tax bill that’s hit.
Now the Celtics have a rotation of 3-head monster ball guards in Marcus Smart, Derrick White and Brogdon that they can mix and match alongside the Jays and our big man rotation. I don’t know yet how Ime will handle the starting lineup or any of the rotations, but honestly, I’m fine with whatever he chooses at this point.
I haven’t even mentioned Danilo Gallinari yet. I felt like he might be a little behind with the MLE, but after getting Brogdon, I’m not sure I care anymore. He adds the proven shot as a wing or stretch 4. He’s lost a step or two, but I consider him a good regular-season middle reliever. He’ll eat minutes, score points and give the Jays a chance to rest. You might even be able to hide it on defense during periods of the regular season. In the playoffs, he might only play when you absolutely need more spacing on offense, but that’s okay. It’s a very solid pickup and when it’s hot it’s going to help us win games.
The Celtics seem very high on what Sam Hauser can bring to the team this year. Again, he’s a guy who can lay the ground and drain punches with confidence. I would still like to see the team add another veteran wing to give us more depth, but we’ll see what we can get for the vet minimum as the market develops. At this point, the Celtics are a destination for ring-hunting veterans, so maybe as the money dries up elsewhere, someone will fall into our lap.
We could also use another big save now that Theis is leaving town. But again, it’s a position where there’s usually more supply than demand, so I’m not too worried about that.
As many have pointed out, I don’t really expect the Celtics to use a big chunk of TPE now that they’ve added all that salary. However, for the good guy, I could see them using a smaller portion (or one of the smaller TPEs).
There is also a chance that Grant Williams will get a contract extension. We still have Payton Pritchard (who may feel left out of the guard party). So there are still potential moves the team can make, but it’s hard not to be very happy with the job Stevens has done so far.
It’s way, way oversimplified, but if you think about it, Wolves just sent 4 draft picks plus a trade to land Rudy Gobert. Over the past 2 years, Stevens has traded 3 draft picks and a trade for Al Horford, Derrick White and Malcolm Brogdon. Not bad.
Oh, and I feel compelled to discuss Kevin Durant in this space. I get it, he’s a great player. One of the best to do so. But I really, really like this team that just made it to the final. I don’t like the idea of breaking everything for anyone. So I’m going to politely step back from the debates about who is more valuable and what it would actually cost. I would just rather not. Because this team is awesome.
So what’s the next step? I can’t wait to find out.