This summer, the Celtics almost traded reigning Sixth Man of the Year Malcolm Brogdon to the Clippers as part of a three-team deal that would have brought Kristaps Porzingis to Boston. The Clippers backed out because of health concerns about Brogdon’s elbow (he tore a ligament during the playoffs), so Boston reworked the trade instead sending Marcus Smart to Memphis in a deal that still put Porzingis in Celtics green.
Brogdon is still angry about coming up in a trade, which could spill over to a bit of conflict at the start of camp, the Boston Globe’s Gary Washburn said on the “Celtics Beat” podcast (hat tip Real GM).
“We’ll see how Malcolm is. Malcolm’s the one I’m concerned about too, because we’ve heard nothing, and he’s angry with the team. I don’t think communication between the two sides has been fruitful. He might just say, ‘Listen, I’m not getting surgery. I’m just gonna let this heal, and you’ll have to wait for me.’ It could be a protest for being on the trade block.”
Brogdon has two years and $45 million left on his contract and he could see a bump in minutes this season with Smart gone (although Derrick White will start at the point, Brogdon will remain the sixth man). Brogdon averaged 14.2 points and 4.9 rebounds a game for the Celtics last season.
It’s just another question for a Celtics team that heads into training camp as hopeful title contenders but has a lot of questions to answer: How does Porzingis fit (and can he stay healthy, he’s already banged up but should be ready for camp)? How does the team respond to losing an emotional leader such as Smart? Can Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown step into that leadership role? Can Robert Williams III stay healthy for most of the season?
Now, add Brogdon’s health and attitude to the mix.