Malcolm Brogdon is saying all the right things. He's willing to come off the bench for the Boston Celtics despite starting every game he's played in the last four seasons.
But it's still worth wondering how the high-profile guard will mesh with Marcus Smart, who emerged as the clear-cut starting point guard and floor general for the Celtics during their run to the NBA Finals.
Brogdon doesn't have those same concerns, however. During his introductory press conference Tuesday, the 29-year-old insisted that he can help Smart's game, not hinder it.
"Marcus is one of the biggest winners that we've seen in this league. I think that's why Boston loves him. I think that's why this organization loves him," Brogdon said. "... This move, I think bringing me here actually helps him. I'm gonna push Marcus. I'm gonna embrace him. He's gonna embrace me. We're gonna push each other.
"I really think we're actually gonna play really well together. I think we have different skill sets, but I think we both want to win so bad that it doesn't matter. All of the other stuff is distraction and noise. I think we're going to come together and really make this thing work."
Smart and Brogdon are both excellent facilitators who can lead an offense by themselves. But their games can complement each other; Brogdon is a better outside shooter (37.6 percent from 3-point range in his career) and more of a steady, stabilizing presence on offense, while Smart is a fiery competitor who can change a game with his defense.
The Celtics now have the luxury of two starting-caliber point guards -- not to mention talented two-way guard Derrick White off the bench -- with one happy to embrace a backup role.
"I just want to win, whatever it takes," Brogdon added. "This team already has something special. I want to add to that recipe, no subtract from it. Whatever (head coach) Ime (Udoka) needs from me, I'm ready to do."
That mentality should be music to Udoka's ears as the Celtics roll out a deeper, more balanced rotation in 2022-23. And while it might take some time for Brogdon and fellow newcomer Danilo Gallinari to develop chemistry with their new teammates, everyone appears eager to start the process.
"I talked to all of those guys, Marcus included, within an hour of the (Brogdon) trade," Celtics president of basketball operations Brad Stevens said. "They're all jacked. They're all excited. They're ready to roll. ... This is about winning."