When the Boston Celtics failed to make any moves on the first night of free agency, some fans got antsy. Other teams were making deals left and right, and it seemed as though the Celtics were just sitting idly by. But that feeling didn’t last long.
Less than 24 hours after free agency opened, Brad Stevens got after it. He signed Italian forward Danilo Gallinari to a two-year contract and traded for combo guard Malcolm Brogdon, all without giving up any core rotation players.
On July 4, Andy Bailey of Bleacher Report wrote an article detailing the winners and losers of free agency thus far. In the piece, he declared the Celtics as winners, nothing the two aforementioned moves as the primary reasons why.
“That move [the Brogdon trade] alone would’ve been good enough to declare the Celtics winners, but they weren’t done there,” Bailey wrote. “After a buyout from the San Antonio Spurs (who’d acquired him from the Atlanta Hawks in the Murray trade), Danilo Gallinari signed in Boston. He’s past his prime, but he’s still a moneyball offensive player who’ll be able to swing games as a reserve. Adding those two to a rotation that already made it to the Finals feels like a steal.”
Bailey also went into detail on the Brogdon trade, explaining why it was such a win for the Celtics.
Why Brogdon Trade Was a Huge Win
Not only did the Celtics trade for Brogdon without giving up any real rotation pieces, but they also filled a hole on their roster. They added some extra playmaking, which is something they could have used in the Finals this past season.
“Most notably, they acquired Malcolm Brogdon for one first-round pick and without surrendering a single surefire rotation player,” Bailey explained. “He’s exactly the kind of player Boston appeared to need in the Finals: a steady playmaker who’s big enough to operate in the Celtics’ switch-heavy defensive scheme.”
However, Bailey also admitted that there is some risk involved with Brogdon, as he is often injured. However, while Bailey noted that “his injury history is concerning, but at the price Boston paid for him, this is a no-brainer.”
This past season, albeit in just 36 games played, Brogdon averaged 19.1 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 5.9 assists on 44.8% shooting from the field and 31.2% from beyond the three-point arc.
Both Brogdon and Gallinari should be able to help Boston compete in a loaded Eastern Conference next year.
Celtics Have Good Chance to Win East
While the Eastern Conference has gotten better during free agency, so have the Celtics. Their moves have allowed them to keep up with their competition, and according to Bailey, they have a good shot at repeating as Eastern Conference Champions.
“The Milwaukee Bucks figure to contend again. The Philadelphia 76ers improved this offseason (in large part to the pre-free-agency acquisition of De’Anthony Melton). And the Miami Heat probably aren’t going away,” Bailey stated. “But Boston has clearly strengthened its shot at winning the East again.”
It’s never easy to storm through the playoffs and reach the NBA Finals, but with the moves they’ve made this summer, the Celtics are well-equipped to make the run again next season.