The Pacers have agreed to trade veteran guard Malcolm Brogdon to the Celtics, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link).
The deal will send center Daniel Theis, wing Aaron Nesmith, and a 2023 first-round pick to Indiana, Wojnarowski reports (via Twitter). Nik Stauskas, Malik Fitts, and Juwan Morgan are also headed to the Pacers in the swap, Wojnarowski adds (via Twitter).
The Celtics wanted to acquire a “true play-making guard,” Wojnarowski explains (via Twitter), and were able to do so without including any of their core players in the package. Brogdon has battled injuries frequently over the course of his six-year career, but has been effective on both ends of the court when healthy.
In 2021/22, the 29-year-old averaged 19.1 PPG, 5.9 APG, and 5.1 RPG in 36 games (33.5 MPG) for the Pacers. Brogdon’s three-point percentage dipped to 31.2% last season, but he’s still a 37.6% career shooter from beyond the arc.
Although Brogdon’s name has come up frequently in trade rumors this offseason, he was primarily linked to the Wizards and Knicks in the weeks leading up to the draft. Washington addressed its point guard hole by agreeing to acquire Monte Morris and sign Delon Wright, while New York landed Jalen Brunson in free agency. That opened the door for another Eastern Conference club to make a deal with the Pacers.
Brogdon will earn $67.6MM over the next three seasons, including $22.6MM in 2022/23. In order to match his salary and make the trade legal, the Celtics will have to include five players in their package — the priciest of those players, Theis, is making $8.69MM next season, while Nesmith will earn $3.8MM. Stauskas, Fitts, and Morgan were on non-guaranteed minimum-salary contracts, which will become guaranteed for matching purposes, tweets Bobby Marks of ESPN.
The Celtics, who also reportedly agreed to sign Danilo Gallinari, now have about $167.5MM committed to 11 players, according to Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports Boston (Twitter link), so team ownership doesn’t appear worried about paying a tax bill in 2022/23. Depending on how deep into the tax Boston is willing to go, the club could also make use of its $17MM trade exception, which won’t be utilized in this deal.
The Pacers, meanwhile, had interest in Grant Williams, according to Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report (Twitter link), but were ultimately willing to accept for a Celtics’ 2023 first-round pick that could land pretty late in the 20s.
Indiana may also see value in Theis and Nesmith, but the deal is more about the first-rounder and the cap flexibility moving off Brogdon will create. In addition to clearing some long-term money, the Pacers now have about $31MM in projected cap room this summer, tweets Marks.
The two teams will have to wait until July 9 to officially complete the trade, Marks notes (via Twitter), since Morgan can’t be dealt until then.