Celtics

Malcolm Brogdon details role with Celtics, why he's a 'perfect fit'

Celtics
Malcolm Brogdon Marcus Smart

Malcolm Brogdon has started every game he's played in over the last four seasons, but that streak will likely end in Boston. And he seems perfectly fine with that.

The 29-year-old guard, whom the Celtics acquired in a trade with the Indiana Pacers earlier this month, told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski he's more than willing to come off the bench in Boston behind starting point guard Marcus Smart.

"If I wanted to come to Boston, that'd be one of the things I'd need to embrace," Brogdon told Wojnarowski on ESPN's "The Woj Pod," noting that Celtics president of basketball operations Brad Stevens envisioned a sixth man role for him.

"For me, I've made a lot of money, I've won a lot in Milwaukee, I've won some in Indiana, but I really want to get back to winning on a high level. I want to win a championship. So whatever I can sacrifice to get back to that championship level, I’m willing to do it and compete."

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Brogdon also appreciated the sacrifice the Celtics made to get him. The C's already were over the luxury tax when they decided to take on Brogdon's $22.6 million cap hit, giving them the NBA's fifth-largest payroll at more than $170 million for 2022-23 (per Spotrac).

"They already have a high payroll," Brogdon said. "I think it really is a testament to the Boston Celtics and how much they want to win. They're willing to spend. They’re willing to possibly have a guy that they’re paying $20 million per year come off the bench as the sixth man and try to help them win a championship."

That cost was worth it for the C's, who view Brogdon as a fit on both ends of the floor. The 6-foot-5 guard is a stabilizing backcourt presence and a strong playmaker who averaged 19.1 points, 5.1 rebounds and 5.9 assists for Indiana last season. He's also a strong defender who can guard multiple positions, a necessity in Ime Udoka's switch-heavy defense.

"I fit on the court physically (with Boston)," Brogdon added. "My skill set, my game, everything fits. Defensively, they were the best defensive team in the NBA; I think the gap only widens now that I’m on the team.

"I don't think it could really be a better fit. ... It's fortuitous. I was meant to be there."

The one knock on Brogdon is his health; he appeared in just 36 games for the Pacers last season and hasn't played more than 60 games in a season since 2018-19. But if the Celtics can manage Brogdon's minutes and have him on the court in the postseason, he could be a legitimate difference-maker in May and June.