Considering the rumors of “mistrust” between Malcolm Brogdon and the Boston Celtics, the future of the defending Sixth Man of the Year in New England is a bit cloudy. At some point between now and the beginning of training camp, these two parties have to mend fences. The only question is if that can’t be done, would it be a catastrophe for the 17-time NBA champions to send him packing given the player behind him?
The impact he made not even starting a single contest in green and white was exactly what the franchise expected. Come in. Be unselfish. Make a difference when his number was called. The amount of money that he is on the books for is the only reason Brad Stevens considered shopping him this summer. The former Rookie of the Year with the Milwaukee Bucks possesses the fourth-highest salary on Boston’s roster, behind only Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, and Kristaps Porzingis.
His production off the bench last season was paramount to the Celts’ securing home-court advantage through at least the first two rounds of the postseason. It is difficult to judge the versatile guard for his playoff displays due to the fact that it was quite evident his injury hampered his on-court performance. It is only speculation, but if No. 13 in green was healthy back in May, the Denver Nuggets would have been forced to head northeast for Game 1 of the NBA Finals.
Equipped with a 25-year-old spark plug, a move for depth elsewhere may be critical if a championship were to be in the near future. With the team in need of some more established play-making off the bench in the wing position, the former Oregon star has the potential in many people’s eyes to seamlessly slide into the backup point guard role.
As it stands, Payton Pritchard is considered the third point guard in the rotation, behind Derrick White and Brogdon. What he has done in Team USA training camp in Las Vegas and in pro-ams over the summer has created a buzz about his ability to be a difference-maker in a rotational role once again.
Defensively, he is a liability, especially against the talent and length at the guard position today. The offensive side of the ball should not be an issue. In his first two campaigns in green, Pritchard shot over 40% from the great beyond while accumulating a double-digit scoring total in the postseason eight times in a limited role. The only concern is Joe Mazzulla’s lack of faith in No. 11. From what we all saw last season, his system is not made for someone like the 25-year-old guard.
Malcolm Brogdon is a piece the Boston Celtics must have in order to push for Banner 18 even with Payton Pritchard in tow
Pritchard is a talented enough player to act as a No. 2 point guard on a non-contending team. That is the truth. If Stevens and the entire Boston franchise want to pursue a title this season, Brogdon has to be a part of that equation.
Two players could realistically come in and be productive assets off the bench in exchange for No. 13. Is that really the answer though? Who knows if the players Boston is receiving will be willing to take a significant minutes decrease with Tatum and Brown serving as the primary options. Nobody in the entire league was as efficient entering a game following the opening whistle as the Atlanta native.
That’s a fact. He has the silverware to prove it.
The topic of the Oregon native is always an interesting one, and while his work ethic is never questioned, the role he seeks is just not going to be present in Massachusetts. The only reason why the Celtics should bid farewell to Brogdon at some point should be if he himself no longer wants to represent the green and white.