The Celtics had to make a series of difficult decisions this past offseason parting ways with Marcus Smart, Robert Williams III, and Malcolm Brogdon.
Boston did acquire two big pieces in the process, but it certainly didn't leave behind any hard feelings. Brogdon, who played only one season with the C's, didn't seem to appreciate how quickly the team moved on from him.
"I was there for a year, won Sixth Man of the Year, and they shipped me out," said Brogdon said to Jason Quick of The Athletic. "I didn't feel very valued there," he added.
While Brogdon's tenure with the team didn't end the way he hoped, it certainly started on a high note. Finishing with averages of 14.9 points, 3.7 assists, and a career-high 44.4% shooting from beyond the arc, Brogdon thrived in his role as the leader of the Celtics' second unit.
Boston originally acquired Brogdon in a trade with the Indiana Pacers during the 2022 offseason in a package that included Daniel Theis, Aaron Nesmith, a 2023 first-round pick, and five other players.
Only one offseason later, the Celtics -- after losing Smart in a trade for Kristaps Porzingis -- needed to add another defensive-minded guard to the roster. Jrue Holiday, as the top guard available in the trade market, perfectly embodied what Boston was looking for. The cost to acquire him however would require moving on from Brogdon. The Celtics would eventually complete a deal with the Trail Blazers centered around Williams III, Brogdon, and two future first-rounders.
Despite a challenging departure from Boston, Brogdon opened up about his first days in Portland, where he entered training camp with a positive mindset.
"I was excited to be here. I was excited to be with a championship coach," said Brogdon. I was excited to go from a place where I wasn't as valued, and go to a place where I am very valued."
Brogdon is currently averaging 15.8 points and 5.5 assists in 28 minutes per game this season. Unfortunately, he's struggled with some injuries, missing 10 games so far this year. However, Brogdon seems happy in a bigger role and has embraced mentoring the Blazers' young roster.
Even though the split between Brogdon and Celtics didn't end favorably, it's clear the deal benefited both sides. Portland ended up with assets and a high-level scorer, and Boston added a great defender who has the championship pedigree they've been looking for.
Should Brogdon remain on the Trail Blazers past next Thursday's NBA trade deadline, he'll certainly be motivated in their matchup with the Celtics come March 11.
Photo used courtesy of The Associated Press