3 Malcolm Brogdon trades that could move the needle for the Boston Celtics

Malcolm Brogdon and Jaylen Brown of the Boston Celtics.
Malcolm Brogdon and Jaylen Brown of the Boston Celtics. /
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It has been a weird start to the 2023 offseason for the Boston Celtics. Marcus Smart isn’t on the team anymore, Kristaps Porzingis is, the front office tried to trade Malcolm Brogdon and everyone knows about it, plus Brad Stevens traded back in the NBA Draft several times. Not to mention that the futures of both Jaylen Brown and Grant Williams are extremely uncertain.

*UPDATE: Grant William was traded to the Dallas Mavericks in a sign-and-trade.

Circling back to Brogdon — who was reportedly being traded to the Los Angeles Clippers until L.A. couldn’t get a medical assessment in time — he can be added to the list of cloudy futures, alongside Brown and Williams

According to MassLive’s Brian Robb, there’s no guarantee that the reigning NBA Sixth Man of the Year will be suiting up for the C’s next season.

“The Celtics were in talks to move Malcolm Brogdon to the Clippers last month and it’s still far from 100 percent certain Brogdon will be back in Boston next year even after Marcus Smart was dealt away per a league source,” Robb reported on Wednesday.

It makes sense. After being all-but-traded, Brogdon all of a sudden is still under contract in Boston. Is he supposed to be thrilled that the front office wanted to deal him? How can he be certain that it’s not still going to happen?

Again, according to Robb, it very well might.

It is tough to blame the guy if he wants to seek a fresh start with a new organization. Not that he has Damian Lillard leverage or anything, but he could still ruffle some feathers and get himself out of town.

In the situation where Boston does decide that Brogdon isn’t part of their future plans, where could he wind up? What could the Celtics get back?

Let’s take a look.

Boston Celtics swap Malcolm Brogdon for Minnesota’s Mike Conley.

After shipping away Smart, a longtime staple of the Boston Celtics’ roster, the team doesn’t have the luxurious guard depth that it did just a few weeks ago. The rotation is a bit thin behind Brogdon and Derrick White, meaning that any trade involving the former Rookie of the Year should garner some sort of replacement.

Enter the Minnesota Timberwolves.

A simple swap would see the C’s land veteran guard Mike Conley, while giving Brogdon a fresh start. More importantly, this trade would work financially as Conley’s $24.3 million salary matches up with Brogdon’s owed $22.5 million for next season, per Spotrac.

On top of that, the move makes sense from a Celtics perspective. The 35-year-old point guard is coming off of a solid season for Minnesota, as well as the Utah Jazz, before he was traded.

Conley averaged 11.9 points, 6.7 assists, and 1.1 steals per game in total, while shooting 42.8% from the field and 38.5% from beyond the arc. Those numbers don’t jump off the page, but they could indicate that he’d be a good fit next to Brown and Jayson Tatum in Boston.

Minnesota’s No. 11 clearly has an eye for setting up his teammates, which could be maximized with the many options he’d have with the Celtics.

Plus, while he was there — Conley had an impact on a Jazz team that many expected to bottom out last season. Utah had a record of 22-21 — a winning percentage over .500 — in games where he suited up. For the season, the Jazz won just 45.1% of their games.

The downside of any potential move would be Conley’s size. At just six-feet one-inch tall, teams could easily pick out the aging undersized guard and target him defensively — though, in his prime defense was one of his strengths.

Of course, there’s no indication that the Wolves would even want to do this either. They could be interested in seeing what a full season of Conley running the point looks like next to Anthony Edwards.