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Getty Marcus Smart, Celtics

After a relatively quiet first evening in NBA free agency, the Celtics made two major splashes on Friday, finally drawing some attention away from the saga of the crumbling Brooklyn Nets and putting it on the defending Eastern Conference champs.

First, word came down that the Celtics would sign veteran scoring forward Danilo Gallinari with their mid-level exception, and that was followed by a bombshell trade that saw star Pacers guard Malcolm Brogdon shipped to Boston for a first-round pick and mostly end-of-roster players.

While the two moves had the Celtics fanbase fired up, one key team starter was pumped, too: point guard Marcus Smart, who could lose out on some ballhandling duties with Brogdon’s arrival. Smart was not letting that possibility bother him, though, not when the Celtics had secured their place as the favorite to again play in the NBA Finals, and, in some places, as the favorite to win a championship.

Man REALLY excited about the moves we made today!! Want to welcome @gallinari8888 and @MalcolmBrogdon7 to bean town ☘️… #banner18 is all that’s on my mind!!

— marcus smart (@smart_MS3) July 1, 2022

Smart tweeted: “Man REALLY excited about the moves we made today!! Want to welcome

@gallinari8888 and @MalcolmBrogdon7 to bean town … #banner18 is all that’s on my mind!!”

Brogdon’s Injury History a Concern

The Brogdon trade was the biggest headline-grabber for Day Two of free agency, at least heading into the evening. The Celtics were able to pluck the Pacers point guard for a package that centered on Daniel Theis and Aaron Nesmith, plus a 2023 first-rounder, Nik Stauskas, Malik Fitts and Juwan Morgan. Around the league, there was a stunned reaction to the scant package it took to bring in Brogdon, who averaged 19.1 points, 5.9 assists and 5.1 rebounds last year.

Brogdon, typically a good 3-point shooter, made only 31.2% last season, which was cut short (he played in only 36 games) by persistent injuries to his right Achilles tendon. Brogdon has a long history of injuries, including to his hip, knee and hamstrings, and has played in only 333 of the 473 games his teams has played since he came into the league six years ago.

While Brogdon has, primarily, been a point guard during his tenure with the Pacers, he has also spent significant time playing off the ball, and the expectation is that Smart will remain the team’s point guard heading into next season. Brogdon could come off the bench or share a backcourt with Smart when the Celtics want to use small lineups.

Backcourt Now Stocked With Depth

Either way, the Celtics will come out of the last five months with a vastly improved backcourt, having added Derrick White at the trade deadline and, now, bringing on Brogdon. With Smart and Payton Pritchard, all three can handle either guard position and play excellent defense, a requisite trait for players in Ime Udoka’s rotation.

Smart will be the starting point guard, but Brogdon and/or White can fill in if Smart is injured. Bringing Brogdon off the bench, too, should help him stay healthy—that, at least, is the Celtics’ hope.

Gallinari is not a particularly good defensive player but the Celtics made their pitch to him anyway, because the team wanted scoring off the bench. Gallinari can do that, having averaged 11.7 points on 38.1% shooting for the Hawks last season. He, too has struggled to stay healthy in his career, and should benefit from a reduced bench role to keep him fresh throughout the year.

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Tags: nba basketball nba breaking news 5 fast facts crime politics shopping is all that’s all that’s that’s on my that’s as the favorite the celtics made want to welcome played in only off the bench stay healthy marcus smart heading into free agency last season brogdon point guard

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Jaylen Brown Possibly Hinting at Fractured Relationship With Celtics

Getty Jaylen Brown of the Boston Celtics.

After Boston Celtics star Jaylen Brown’s name came up in trade rumors involving Brooklyn Nets superstar Kevin Durant, many speculated that the Celtics offering him for Durant could potentially damage the long-term relationship between Brown and the team. Steve Bulpett’s recent chat with a league executive refutes that notion.

“I think Jaylen IS long term,” the executive told Bulpett. “If they want him long-term and they’re going to pay him the contract he deserves, I think he’s all-in on Boston. From everything I’ve been told, Jaylen’s a loyal guy. I know frustration can happen when things aren’t going well, and I think we saw some of that earlier in this past season.

“But when you take a step back and look at things, I think he wants to be there. And any problems that could ever happen with that relationship would probably have to come from him getting the idea that they’re not in on him. And right now, I don’t see that from the Celtics. I think they know what they have in Jaylen — now and for the future — and they want to keep that going.”

This would go along with all the reports that Brown is happy in Boston. However, one of Brown’s most recently liked tweets would indicate that maybe this recent report does not reflect his current thought process.

This tweet that Brown liked questioned the credibility of the executive who spoke to Bulpett because the person did not believe the executive knew firsthand what Brown’s mental state was.

Why are we expected to believe that another team’s executive would be privy to the mental state of JB, why are those “sources” considered credible enough to drive a narrative. I’m glad he wants to stay if true, but I just don’t see why these can be passed off as credible.

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— James (@j_celtics) August 12, 2022

Kurt Helin later responded to the tweet and explained how processes like these work in the NBA.

Helin Explained How Executives Know What They Know

When this Twitter user asked Helin how exactly would an executive know what Brown’s thought process is, Helin explained that executives check in with player’s camps to see if they may potentially be unhappy where they are with their current team to see if a trade is a possibility.

You don't think executives of other teams check with agents/friends/whoever to judge the mental state of players they may want to chase via trade or free agency? To see if they are happy or may be open to a move?

— Kurt Helin (@basketballtalk) August 12, 2022

At the end of the day, Jaylen Brown has been a 20-point scorer in the NBA for the past three seasons, and he’s only 25 years old. He’s a desirable trade asset, so teams will ask about his trade availability. Especially if there’s a commotion that he may not be happy in Boston.

All indications are that he is, but liking tweets like that will make one speculate about what his long-term prospects are with the Celtics. One of his teammates spoke up about the rumors involving Brown.

Grant Williams Gave His Thoughts on Brown

After speaking with children during the Jr. Celtics camp, Grant Williams was asked how he felt about the trade rumors involving Brown. Williams responded by talking about the business side of the NBA while also praising Brown’s mindset and value as a player.

“I feel like JB is mature in his mindset, and he knows that. I talk to him, texted him, reach out of as often as I can. It’s one of those things. It’s the league. It’s a business. It’s one of those things that you can’t be discouraged by because we love JB. It also shows how valuable he is.”

Grant Williams on Jaylen Brown-Kevin Durant rumor: “I feel like he’s mature in his mindset … I talk to him, texted him, reach out as often as I can. It’s one of those things, it’s the league, it’s a business, it’s not something to be discouraged by. We love JB.”

— Bobby Manning (@RealBobManning) August 12, 2022

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