Here’s what the Clippers reportedly almost gave up for Malcolm Brogdon

Celtics

The Celtics almost lost the reigning Sixth Man of the Year in a trade with the Clippers.

The Celtics almost traded Malcolm Brogdon instead of Marcus Smart. Wilfredo Lee/AP Photo

Before the Boston Celtics sent away fan-favorite Marcus Smart in the trade that netted them Kristaps Porzingis, they had a completely different deal that would have sent out Malcolm Brogdon instead.

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As reported in June by The Athletic’s Shams Charania, the Celtics, Los Angeles Clippers and Washington Wizards discussed a trade that would send Porzingis to Boston, but it would require the Celtics to give Brogdon to the Clippers. This trade was reportedly very close to being finalized, but fell through at the last minute.

According to The Athletic’s Law Murray, the Clippers set their sights on Brogdon after Chris Paul, who they hoped to reunite with, was traded to the Golden State Warriors. They entered trade discussions with the Celtics and Wizards, and eventually an agreement was reached.

“[The Clippers] were ready to trade [Marcus] Morris, [Amir] Coffey and the draft pick that was later used on [Kobe] Brown to complete the deal,” Murray wrote.

But it wasn’t meant to be. Per Marc Stein, the Clippers grew concerned over Brogdon’s uncertain injury condition, likely in regards to a partial tendon tear in his elbow. They soon changed their minds and nixed the deal. The Celtics and Wizards still wanted a similar trade to go through and eventually made one, but without the Clippers.

“But after expressing misgivings with Brogdon’s injury history,” Murray wrote, “The Clippers ran out of time to complete the deal before the Celtics moved on to a three-team trade in which they kept Brogdon and traded Marcus Smart to the Memphis Grizzlies instead.”

The Clippers still had interest in acquiring Brogdon even after they called off their original deal, as Yahoo Sports’ Jake Fischer reported that they discussed potential Brogdon deals with Boston roughly a week after Smart was traded. But those talks ultimately went nowhere, and the Celtics eventually shut down trade discussions involving Brogdon a month later.

“We asked about [Brogdon] and we were told he’s a valued member of [the Celtics’] team,” an anonymous league source told Heavy Sports. “[Boston] said he’s a valued member of their team, and that’s where it ended. I don’t know if that changes down the line, but we didn’t get anywhere. And I’m pretty sure we aren’t the only team that got that response.”

The Celtics acquired Brogdon in July 2022 in a trade that sent Aaron Nesmith, Nik Stauskas, Daniel Theis, Juwan Morgan, Malik Fitts and a draft pick that would later become Julian Strawther to Indiana. In his first year in Boston, Brogdon averaged 14.9 points, 4.2 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game on 48 percent shooting from the field and 44 percent from the three-point line. Brogdon led the Celtics’ second unit so well that season that the NBA gave him the Sixth Man of the Year Award for his efforts.

The Celtics clearly value Brogdon, even though they nearly parted ways with him. They still have faith in him and regret the negative press the trade rumors gave him.

“Malcolm is really important,” Celtics president of basketball operations Brad Stevens said shortly after he traded for Porzingis. “That was tough. He certainly doesn’t deserve that, and I feel for him. We’ve talked, obviously, since then. There are a lot of narratives out there because of that, that certainly are inaccurate.”

Brogdon will remain a Celtic for the time being, and his team will continue to trust him for the foreseeable future.

Originally posted 2023-08-16 14:17:38.


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