Before acquiring Kristaps Porzingis in exchange for Marcus Smart among others, Malcolm Brogdon was rumored the be the centerpiece in making the trade happen. With the Los Angeles Clippers backing out of the three-way blockbuster, Brogdon remained in Boston, however, the healing process of nearly getting dealt might’ve not completely worn off yet.
“I think he understands, but (it) doesn’t mean he’s not upset about it,” Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe told CLNS Media’s “Celtics Beat” podcast. “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 have been down this road before, several times as a matter of fact.
Last offseason, Jaylen Brown was put through the trade-rumor wringer, linked to the Brooklyn Nets in a deal for Kevin Durant. That sparked a season full of speculation surrounding Brown’s then-questionable future with Boston.
With Smart out the door and now with the Memphis Grizzlies, Brodgon’s value increases with Boston. He’ll inherit a greater degree of responsibility, paired up with expected starter Derrick White, and certainly be leaned on much like last season, even if it means Brogdon plays off the bench again.
Celtics head coach Joe Mazzulla already acknowledged that Boston and Brogdon wouldn’t be able to just move on as if nothing happened.
“There’s a healing process, there’s a listening process and there’s a process toward where we’re at and where we have to get to,” Mazzulla told reporters in July, per CLNS Media video. “We’ve had some conversations as an organization, but at the same time we understand the situation that it was, and as the healing process goes on, we’re continuing to move forward as well as we can.”
It’s unknown how much the offseason rumor has affected Brogdon’s feelings toward the organization or whether or not it’s impacted their communication. But regardless, it’ll be pivotal for Boston to resolve whatever bad blood is in place before opening night.
The Celtics don’t have the same level of depth at guard that they did last season. So coming off a season that ended in embarrassing fashion, there isn’t much room for error in Boston if the organization intends to attack on its NBA Finals window that they’ve fumbled to capitalize on in recent seasons.