$85 Million Guard Is Celtics’ Top Off-Season Priority, Says Analyst

Brad Stevens, Boston Celtics

Getty Brad Stevens, Boston Celtics

Usually, teams in the NBA Finals aren’t subject to off-season rumors, but following the Boston Celtics game two loss against the Golden State Warriors, it seems like their bench could use an extra punch.

According to Bleacher Report’s Grant Hughes, the Celtics should be looking for an upgrade at the point guard position, even if that means moving on from the impressive Payton Pritchard.

“Brogdon, though, would be a clear upgrade. He could initiate the offense as a playmaker or move off the ball as a floor-spacer who’d be much more dangerous attacking closeouts than Pritchard, whose lack of size makes finishing in traffic tricky.

Perhaps most importantly, Brogdon is an adept and able-bodied switch defender. At 6’5″, he holds up just fine against everything from point guards to small-ball power forwards,” Hughes wrote in a recent article.

Brogdon will be entering the final year of his current $85 million contract next season, so if the Celtics were to trade for him, they would likely be reluctant to give up too much in terms of assets, as Brogdon could walk for nothing at the end of the season.

Does the Money Work?

The Celtics might hold a plethora of trade exceptions, but the key rule to remember is that these can’t be used together or aggregated along with player salary, meaning you can use multiple exceptions to absorb a contract. Put simply, when using a trade exception, the incoming salary needs to fit within the value of said exception.

As such, not even the $17 million Evan Fournier exception can come into play when trading for Brogdon, meaning Boston would need to give up legitimate assets in order to make the money work.

“Matching salary would be tough. Brogdon will make $22.6 million in 2022-23, and Boston can’t get close to that number without including Grant Williams or another member of its rotation. Daniel Theis and Aaron Nesmith only combine to make $12.4 million in 2022-23,” Hughes noted.

So, unless Boston is convinced that Brogdon would take their team to another level, it’s unlikely the team embarks on trade discussions, especially after how Pritchard has been performing in the post-season.

Brogdon’s Injury History is a Red Flag

In the six years that Brogdon has been in the NBA, he has completed more than 60 games on two occasions, and this past season he only participated in 36 contests after recovering from injury. 

The Celtics are a young developing team that prides itself on their continuity, adding in an injury-prone guard while moving on from a sharpshooting sophomore that has held his own on the biggest stages would certainly be a questionable move.

Sure, when healthy, Brogdon is an offensive force and would ensure the offensive creation doesn’t drop off when the bench unit is on the floor – he averaged 19.1 points, 5.9 assists, and 5.1 rebounds over his 36 games this season, shooting 44.8% from the field and 31.2% from deep.

But considering his age (29) and questionable injury track record, any move to add him to the roster during the off-season would be a risk that likely isn’t worth taking.


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