Malcolm Brogdon

Celtics Notes: Brogdon, Holiday, Porzingis, Defense

After a three-team deal that would have sent Malcolm Brogdon to Los Angeles fell through in June, the Clippers have continued to engage the Celtics in trade discussions for the veteran guard throughout the offseason, league sources tell Jared Weiss of The Athletic.

Weiss’ report comes within an article exploring whether it might be possible for the Celtics to obtain trade candidate Jrue Holiday. As Weiss writes, Brogdon would almost certainly have to be included in a deal for Holiday, and the Clippers are the one team known to have serious interest.

However, the Clippers may be more inclined to make a play for Holiday themselves – or to try to work out a three-team trade with the Sixers involving James Harden – than they would be to participate in a multi-team deal that sends Holiday to Boston and Brogdon to Los Angeles. As Weiss notes, adhering to the new salary-matching rules will also be a challenge for the Celtics if they pursue Holiday, since they can’t take back more than 110% (plus $250K) of their outgoing total.

Here’s more out of Boston:

  • Multiple executives and coaches who spoke to Steve Bulpett of about the Brogdon situation believe that being honest and transparent with the 30-year-old will be crucial if he remains on the roster and there are fences in need of mending. “The one thing that characterizes (Brogdon) more than anything is his intelligence, his intellect,” one front office source told Bulpett. “If you appeal to him on that basis, if you appeal to his rationality, then he’ll understand. I have no doubt that (president of basketball operations Brad) Stevens will handle this the right way — and he has to, because Boston needs Brogdon even more than they did last year.”
  • Kristaps Porzingis took part on Wednesday in his first scrimmage since he was shut down due to the plantar fasciitis in his foot, a source tells Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe (Twitter link). According to Himmelsbach, Porzingis looked good and didn’t experience any setbacks.
  • Jared Weiss of The Athletic outlines the effect that the offseason departures of Marcus Smart and Grant Williams will have on the Celtics’ toughness and defense, and considers how the team might try to fill that void.

Jrue Holiday Rumors: Sixers, Harden, Clippers, Heat, Celtics

As first reported by Kyle Neubeck of PHLY Sports, the Sixers have interest in trading for veteran guard Jrue Holiday, who is being sent to Portland as part of the Damian Lillard blockbuster. Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer confirms Neubeck’s report, and says James Harden — who hopes to land with the Clippers — would be involved in a possible deal.

Holiday spent his first four NBA seasons with the Sixers, who selected him 17th overall back in 2009. According to Pompey’s sources, Philadelphia tried to trade for Holiday multiple times during his seven-year stint with New Orleans from 2013-20.

Moving Harden before Monday’s Media Day and next week’s training camp would avoid a messy situation, and the team has said it wants an All-Star caliber player or draft assets in return for the former MVP. As a five-time All-Defensive member and a two-time All-Star, Holiday fits that bill, Pompey notes.

A three-team deal that sends Harden to the Clippers, Holiday to the Sixers, and a first-round pick from each club to the Trail Blazers seems like it could be a good move for all parties, according to Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports, who reports that L.A. has thus far only been willing to give up one first-rounder for Harden. Still, as Fischer observes, maybe the Clippers will just end up going after Holiday instead.

The Heat are another Eastern Conference contender who have long valued Holiday, sources tell Fischer. League executives were speculating about Holiday being sent to Miami in the aftermath of the deal, Fischer adds, though it’s worth pointing out that Portland and Miami haven’t had much dialogue this offseason, despite Lillard hoping to land with the Heat.

The Celtics are expected to consider a pursuit of Holiday as well, reports Adam Himmselsbach of The Boston Globe (via Twitter). That’s an interesting, though not surprising rumor — the team has been trying to mend fences with Malcolm Brogdon, who was nearly sent to the Clippers this offseason. Brogdon ($22.5MM) would basically have to be involved in any package for Holiday ($36.86MM) for salary-matching purposes.

If the prolonged Lillard saga is any indication, Portland’s front office could be patient in looking for the best possible return for Holiday, Fischer notes.

Celtics’ Stevens: Brogdon, Porzingis Healthy For Camp

Celtics president of basketball operations Brad Stevens expects his entire roster to be healthy for training camp, including guard Malcolm Brogdon and big man Kristaps Porzingis, he tells Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe.

Brogdon reportedly suffered a torn tendon in his right elbow in the Eastern Conference Finals, while Porzingis dealt this summer with plantar fasciitis that forced him to miss the 2023 World Cup.

“Everybody’s in Boston, everybody’s healthy, knock on wood,” Stevens said. “If everybody gets through the rest of the week, we should be full next Tuesday when we start practice. We’re excited about that.”

Despite not being able to play, Porzingis remained with the Latvian team during the World Cup and completed most of his rehab work while with the club. He recently arrived in Boston and, as Washburn notes, the Celtics have posted social media video this week of the big man working out at the team’s facility.

“Kristaps has been running up and down the court the last few days,” Stevens told Washburn. “I thought the progression that his trainers there (in Latvia), our trainers here, and everybody came up with to get him back so that he could avoid anything lingering was a key. He feels great. I just literally talked to him on the phone on my way here. He said he feels good.”

Here’s more from Stevens on the Celtics:

  • Before they sent Marcus Smart to Memphis in their three-team deal for Porzingis, the Celtics nearly moved Brogdon to the Clippers in a different iteration of the trade. Stevens acknowledged that Brogdon was upset about his near-inclusion in that deal, but said he has spoken to the veteran guard to resolve his displeasure. “I would say he had every right to feel (upset),” Stevens said, per Washburn. “We said that this summer. But he’s a real pro and so we’ve had several discussions. He’s looking forward to getting started. We’re looking forward to getting started and here we go.”
  • The Celtics haven’t drafted a player in the first round since 2020, but Stevens said the team made an effort this offseason to devote some of its back-end roster spots to young players, pointing to free agent addition Dalano Banton as one example. “We haven’t had a first-round draft pick in three years, so can you find a young guy that you can invest in and really work with,” Stevens said. “And he’s excited to be here. Those guys are important. We’re trying to win it but we’re also trying to make sure we are using our other roster spots to make sure we’re investing in younger players.”
  • Stevens admitted that he feels a “sense of urgency” to compete for a title and suggested he feels good about the championship potential of the current group. “Our goal is to win and so ultimately we always have to keep our ears to the ground and our eyes open but we do like our team heading into the season,” he told Washburn. “I’m interested to see how it all plays out. To be there standing at the end, a lot’s got to go your way but we know the path. We know how to get knocking on that door and there’s nothing we want more than to knock it down.”

Celtics Notes: Walsh, Porzingis, Brogdon, Hield

With Marcus Smart and Grant Williams both gone, there could be an immediate role for second-round pick Jordan Walsh with the Celtics, writes Gio Rivera of NESN. The 19-year-old built a reputation as a strong perimeter defender during his freshman season at Arkansas and he may get an opportunity to do the same thing in the NBA.

At Summer League, Walsh showed off a scoring touch in addition to his defensive prowess, leading Boston with 16.0 points per game while shooting 42.2% from the field. The Celtics rewarded him with a four-year, $7.6MM contract, indicating that he’s considered part of their future.

For now, Walsh is enjoying the experience of preparing for training camp with some of his new teammates.

“To finally be here, to finally be with the team and finally able to play guys 1-on-1 in practice, it’s been the best time, it’s been fun,” Walsh said (video link). “… Today I was matching up against Derrick White the whole practice. Even playing defense against somebody like him, I always have something to learn. For him, being a leader on the team, being a point guard who steps into that point guard role, there’s a lot I can take from him and I was happy to be able to get a chance to play with him.”

There’s more on the Celtics:

  • Kristaps Porzingis arrived in Boston on Wednesday and has been doing “light on-court work” to prepare for training camp, according to Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe. Porzingis traveled with Latvia’s World Cup team even though he wasn’t able to play because of plantar fasciitis. The condition isn’t expected to affect him in camp, and other players are excited about what he can bring to the team. “I think he’s an unbelievable player who is obviously really tall and can affect the game in a whole different way that we haven’t had, with his ability to shoot and put it on the floor and attack those mismatches,” Payton Pritchard said.
  • Celtics guard Malcolm Brogdon is reportedly unhappy about how the team handled his elbow injury and Pacers guard Buddy Hield is looking for a trade after not getting the contract extension he wants, but Brian Robb of MassLive doesn’t expect them to be dealt for each other. In a mailbag column, Robb points out that Indiana isn’t likely to have interest in Brogdon after trading him to Boston last summer, while exchanging Brogdon for Hield doesn’t represent an upgrade for the Celtics.
  • Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe places the Celtics second in his preseason NBA rankings. He has the team behind the defending champion Nuggets, although he admits there are questions surrounding Porzingis’ ability to stay healthy, White’s transition to starting point guard duties and offensive production from its centers.

Trade Rumors: Future Trade Candidates, Hield, Ayton, Brogdon

As teams besides the Heat consider how aggressively to pursue Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard, one factor they’re weighing is whether it makes more sense to preserve their assets in the hopes of landing an even more valuable star in the near future, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski said this week during an appearance on NBA Today (YouTube link).

“There could be some massive talents available for trades next season. Maybe at the trade deadline, maybe next year,” Wojnarowski said. “So you have teams weighing the assets they might use to trade for Damian Lillard vs. who could be available to them that they don’t want to be out of the game for. Some younger, first team All-NBA type players who may be in that marketplace.”

While Wojnarowski didn’t name any specific players, his ESPN colleague Zach Lowe followed up on Woj’s point by directly mentioning Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo and obliquely referencing Sixers center Joel Embiid as well.

“Look, not to put it too baldly, but Giannis’ recent comments have changed the landscape of the league, at least a little bit, and have had teams at least have the meeting of, ‘Wait a second, do we need to keep our powder dry if we think we have a one percent, two percent, five percent (chance to acquire him)?'” Lowe said.

“And by the way, the Bucks may not have to trade Giannis at all. They may win the title this year, everything’s fine, he signs an extension. But those comments, along with everything going on in Philly, have at least forced you to have the meeting of, ‘Do we need to keep our powder dry?'”

Here are a few more trade-related notes and rumors:

  • The Mavericks, Sixers, Bucks are among the teams to watch as the Pacers seek a trade partner for sharpshooter Buddy Hield, Shams Charania of The Athletic said in an appearance on The Rally (Twitter video link). “Those are the types of teams that could definitely use a shooter like Buddy Hield,” Charania said. “And I think they’ve had a level of interest in him over the last several months.”
  • With Deandre Ayton‘s name once again popping up in trade rumors, Gerald Bourguet of PHNX Sports cites a source who says the Mavericks made an “underwhelming” offer for the Suns center over the summer. Bourguet adds that Phoenix fielded inquiries on Ayton on draft night in June, but the offers at that time weren’t compelling, with one source even describing them as “trash.”
  • While Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe acknowledges that the Malcolm Brogdon situation in Boston “feels slightly off,” he hasn’t gotten any recent indications that the Celtics are considering trading Brogdon any more than they’re considering moving any other player.

Celtics Notes: Rivers, Brogdon, Tatum, Queta

Free agent guard Austin Rivers is interested in signing with the Celtics before the start of training camp, writes Brian Robb of MassLive. Appearing on a podcast with Bill Simmons of The Ringer, Rivers revealed that he recently reached out to the team to see if there’s a spot open for him.

“I had a great talk with (president of basketball operations) Brad (Stevens) actually like a week ago,” Rivers said.

Boston may have a need for backcourt depth after sending Marcus Smart to Memphis in a three-team deal to acquire Kristaps Porzingis. Payton Pritchard expects to see more playing time, and the Celtics added free agents Svi Mykhailiuk and Dalano Banton, but there’s no one who can fill Smart’s role as a veteran leader.

“That’s why I called (Brad),” Rivers said. “I told him I’d love to be a part of the team. He said a lot of positive things. We’ll see if that’s something that will come to fruition. I’ve always loved Brad. I’ve always been a fan of him.”

The 31-year-old combo guard spent last season with the Timberwolves, averaging 4.9 points, 1.6 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 52 games.

There’s more from Boston:

  • Any “bad feelings” that Malcolm Brogdon has toward the team aren’t related to his near inclusion in the Kristaps Porzingis trade, Ramona Shelburne of ESPN said on “NBA Today” (video link). She suggests the dispute is related to the “golfer’s elbow” injury that Brogdon suffered in the Eastern Conference Finals. Brogdon elected not to have surgery during the summer, and Shelburne indicated there are questions about when he’ll be available for the upcoming season.
  • With Smart gone, Jayson Tatum will spend more time running the offense this season, Shelburne adds in the same segment. She points out that Tatum frequently filled that role in the playoffs, averaging 5.3 assists in 20 postseason games. In a look at Boston’s projected starting lineup, ESPN’s Zach Lowe said he expects Al Horford to be in the middle alongside Tatum and Porzingis, with Robert Williams coming off the bench.
  • Paul Pierce tells Conor Ryan of The Boston Globe that Celtics assistant coach Sam Cassell got him involved in summer workouts with Tatum. Pierce attended numerous sessions with Tatum in Los Angeles, offering advice and joining him on the court. “He’s one of the top five players in the league, so it’s an honor to be there and see him go through his journey to see him get ready,” Pierce said. “I’m there really on some support, just to see his growth. He’s already at the top of the food chain, so I’m just part of being a support system.”
  • Neemias Queta‘s two-way deal with the Celtics covers only the 2023/24 season, Hoops Rumors has learned. Queta will be eligible for restricted free agency next summer if he plays out the contract.

Celtics Notes: Pritchard, Brogdon, Roster Spot, Tatum

Payton Pritchard didn’t get the trade he wanted last winter and now he may have a regular role in the Celtics‘ rotation, writes Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe. Frustrated by inconsistent playing time, Pritchard was open about his desire to be sent to another team before the February deadline.

This summer’s Kristaps Porzingis trade, which sent Marcus Smart to Memphis, created an opening in the backcourt that Pritchard hopes to fill. He’s not taking anything for granted as he enters his fourth NBA season, but he views the deal as a sign that the front office has confidence in him.

“If I get the opportunity to play, I’ve got to show what I’m capable of and that I can help win at a high level,” Pritchard said. “So I’m just looking forward to the opportunity of showcasing that. At the end of the day, I’m a winner and am obviously going to help Jaylen (Brown) and Jayson (Tatum) because those are the two that are pushing us, but we’ve all got to help them get over the hump and ultimately win a championship.”

Coach Joe Mazzulla has said Derrick White will replace Smart as the starting point guard, Himmelsbach adds, and Malcolm Brogdon is expected to remain the first guard off the bench. Pritchard’s role isn’t as well defined heading into training camp, but he hopes to show Mazzulla that he can deliver when called upon.

“I think it looks different every night,” Pritchard said. “Obviously, I have the ability to shoot and space the floor, but also this year being able to take pressure off, and if I have to handle and bring it up and showcase more of the passing side of things, I can do that. But I’ve talked to Joe, and it’s going to be a lot of different things.”

There’s more on the Celtics:

  • Brogdon still has hard feelings about nearly being included in the Porzingis deal, Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe said on the “Celtics Beat” podcast (hat tip to Gio Rivera of NESN). Brogdon was offered to the Clippers in the original version of the three-team trade, but L.A. declined because there wasn’t time to fully examine his medical records before the deadline for Porzingis to pick up his option for next season. “I think he understands, but (it) doesn’t mean he’s not upset about it,” Washburn said. “So I was told he was not happy with how things went down. Now, does that increase his level of mistrust in the Celtics organization?”
  • The Celtics may wait to fill their open roster spot until other teams make their final cuts, Brian Robb of MassLive states in a mailbag column. Robb believes the team’s most pressing need is to find another big man.
  • Souichi Terada of MassLive examines Tatum’s MVP chances, concluding that his best opportunity is for Boston to emerge as clearly the best team in the East.

Celtics Notes: Backup Center, Mykhailiuk, Brogdon, Free Agents

The Celtics completed their search for another wing by signing Svi Mykhailiuk this week, so the next priority should be finding a capable big man to provide depth in the frontcourt, writes Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe. Boston now has 14 players with standard contracts, one short of the regular season roster limit. Only 11 of those are guaranteed, although Mykhailiuk could become the 12th once the details of his new deal are reported.

Robert Williams and Al Horford will handle most of the minutes at center, but Williams’ injury history and Horford’s age create a need for a quality backup at the position. Washburn suggests Kristaps Porzingis could see some time in the middle, but he’s more effective at power forward and is more comfortable playing away from the basket. Luke Kornet will be in camp, but his contract is non-guaranteed until the league-wide guarantee date of January 10.

Washburn identifies Bismack Biyombo and Dewayne Dedmon as available free agents, but states that neither is significantly better than Blake Griffin, who played for the Celtics last season and has expressed an interest in returning. Washburn also mentions former All-Stars Dwight Howard and DeMarcus Cousins, but says the organization doesn’t want to risk team chemistry by bringing in someone who’s unhappy with his role.

There’s more on the Celtics:

  • Mykhailiuk’s success against Boston may have sparked the organization’s interest, even though he wasn’t among the players who held workouts last month. Playing for the Knicks and Hornets last season, the 26-year-old swingman hit 24 three-pointers against the Celtics, the most of any opponent, according to Luke Scotchie of The Boston Globe. Overall, Mykhailiuk enjoyed the best shooting season of his career from long distance, connecting at 42.4% and making 1.3 per game.
  • There has been little news about Malcolm Brogdon since he was nearly sent to the Clippers in June in a deal for Porzingis, Brian Robb of MassLive notes in a mailbag column. The team hasn’t provided any updates on Brogdon’s health after he reportedly suffered a torn tendon in his right elbow in the Eastern Conference Finals. Playing again should help resolve any bitterness Brogdon might have over the trade situation, Robb states, but he may be less willing to sacrifice for the organization after nearly being moved.
  • The Celtics still may have interest in T.J. Warren and Lamar Stevens after bringing them in for tryouts, but they shouldn’t offer more than a partially guaranteed deal to either of them, Robb adds in the same piece.

Celtics Notes: Brown, Wing Options, Pritchard, Frontcourt

Jaylen Brown‘s first game since signing a record contract with the Celtics came in an unlikely setting — the Big3 All-Star contest, writes Jason Jones of The Athletic. Brown, who became the first active NBA player to participate in a Big3 game, agreed to play because the event, which was held in England, helps to support the London Youth charity.

The decision is also part of Brown’s effort to promote Black-owned businesses, Jones adds. League co-founder Ice Cube told a CBS interviewer that he was “blown away” to have an NBA All-Star on hand.

“I asked him if he was sure he wanted to make this move,” Cube said. “And he was like ‘I want to do this for the game, for the players and it’s a big move for the league’ … This guy is my hero right now.”

There’s more on the Celtics:

  • Of the four wings the team is working out this month, Lamar Stevens and T.J. Warren are probably looking for guaranteed money, while Louis King and Glenn Robinson III are more likely to agree to non-guaranteed camp deals, Brian Robb of Mass Live states in a mailbag column. Robb is skeptical about Warren because the Suns opted to let him leave in free agency rather than try to keep him on a minimum-salary deal. He sees Stevens as the best option because he would bring a defensive presence at the wing that rookie Jordan Walsh may not be ready to provide.
  • President of basketball operations Brad Stevens may have erred last year by trading for Malcolm Brogdon when the team had more pressing needs in its frontcourt, Robb adds. Payton Pritchard appeared ready for rotation minutes, but he was frequently kept on the bench because of the logjam in the backcourt. That should be less of a concern this season with Marcus Smart sent to Memphis in the Kristaps Porzingis trade, but Robb still doesn’t foresee Pritchard playing more than 25 minutes per game unless Brogdon gets injured. Pritchard is eligible for an extension until the start of the season, so the Celtics will have to figure out how he fits into their future.
  • Robb also believes Boston should focus on finding another big man before camp rather than relying on Luke Kornet or bringing back Blake Griffin. Oshae Brissett could fill some minutes in the frontcourt, but Robb sees a need for more depth considering the age and injury history of Porzingis, Robert Williams and Al Horford.

Celtics Notes: Tatum, Smart, White, Brogdon, Porzingis

Appearing at a PGA pro-am event Wednesday in Memphis, Jayson Tatum promised Grizzlies fans that they’re going to love having Marcus Smart on their team (video link from The Memphis Commercial Appeal).

After spending nine years with the Celtics, Smart was shipped to Memphis in a three-team trade to acquire Kristaps Porzingis. Smart provided a fiery presence in Boston, both on and off the court, and Tatum said he’ll bring those same qualities to the Grizzlies.

“They’re getting a leader,” Tatum said. “They’re getting a guy who’s a winner, who’s been to the playoffs every year. We’ve been to the Finals together obviously, so he knows what it takes to get there. Obviously extremely talented, the best defender in the league. He’s just a guy that you love to have on your team.”

There’s more from Boston:

  • The Celtics addressed a major offseason priority when they signed Jaylen Brown to a super-max extension, but they have more extension decisions to make, writes Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe. Around the start of October, Derrick White will be eligible for a three-year extension that could be worth up to $85.3MM. White is projected to take over as the starting point guard with Smart gone, and he’s coming off a second-team All-Defensive nod last season. If the Celtics want to extend White this year, they’ll have until opening night to finalize a deal with the veteran guard, who has two more years on his current contract. Malcolm Brogdon will also become extension-eligible, Himmelsbach notes, but he believes a new contract is less likely considering Brogdon’s age and injury history, along with the six-month trade trade restriction that comes with an extension.
  • Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck is a supporter of the new mid-season tournament and hopes his team can reach the finals in Las Vegas, Himmelsbach adds. “I’m a big international soccer fan, and I see they’ve got three trophies they can go for every year,” Grousbeck said. “So I’m already looking forward to it. I like having something new for guys to play for during the fall and give fans something to watch. Let’s see how it goes.”
  • Jared Weiss of The Athletic looks at the lineup options that Porzingis will provide for head coach Joe Mazzulla. The Celtics will have a much taller starting five and can experiment with a twin towers approach with Porzingis playing alongside Robert Williams. Weiss also envisions Porzingis and Tatum being effective with the second unit while Brown is resting.