Blake Griffin future, Malcolm Brogdon trade, role changes

Let’s take a look at a series of questions in our weekly magazine Celtics mail bag. If you have questions regarding this Celtics or NBA, trade negotiations or more e-mail [email protected] or tweet @briantrobb

Hi Brian,

Any chance the team’s preference was always to keep Brogdon and trade Smart? Were the initial reports of trading Brogdon a smokescreen to soften the blow of trading Smart?

Listening to Brad’s presser after the playoffs, he specifically said their biggest problem on offense was their inability to hit the first point of attack. That to me was specifically an indictment of Smart and it seemed like the writing was the wall for him to be moved.- Matt, Somerville

It’s hard to imagine that being the original preference given how public the negotiations became involving Brogdon with the Clippers. It could be argued that the team considered moving both if the Clippers deal with Brogdon went through, as the offer from the Grizzlies was clearly on the table for Smart before deal day. Whether Boston would have taken Tyus Jones and the future picks for Smart, we’ll never know for sure, but it was clear upgrading the offense was a big priority along with balancing the roster. Moving Smart helped the team do both.

Okay Brobb

I want to talk about Malcolm. I understand why he is more likely than not to be traded, but I just don’t think it will be worth it. We’ll see how the season develops, but his shooting is a real plus, he’s probably the best shooter on the team (not including Hauser). If it’s for someone like Alex Caruso or OG Anunoby, you should probably make the deal, but now with Smart gone, he’ll get more time at point guard, and if White misses some games, he might be the starting point guard playing alongside a loaded starting lineup. What are your thoughts/likelihood of Malcolm being on our list next April? Love your work as always, Sean D

The longer the offseason goes, the more likely it is that Brogdon will at least start next season with the team. Boston has sent signals privately and publicly that they want to keep Brogdon after the Clippers trade fell apart, and that’s probably the best path they have right now. It’s possible the Clippers could push to re-sign if the James Harden deal never comes to fruition, but the Celtics would need value for him at this point given the roster and those coming off his injury are hard to come by. If the Celtics are going to make any kind of splashy move this season, the guess here is that it involves Brogdon to match salary, but it will take a while to see if that type of move pans out. With the salary issues involved, I would be surprised if Brogdon lasts beyond this season in Boston.

Why has there been no sign of bringing blake griffin back? Was a good dressing room and a crowd favourite. It was fine when I got the call last year. Would be good to keep him as backup great insurance and for vibes now that smart and Grant are gone. Also thoughts on Romeo Langford returning? He played well for San Antonio and he is a good defender, long, athletic, good cutter and cheap. Thank you – Joseph P

It’s been eerily quiet on the Blake Griffin front since the season ended. Brad Stevens didn’t mention him in any of his press conferences, and that could be a signal that the team is moving on. Griffin did his job admirably last year and was a welcome addition to the locker room. For now, the Celtics might want the roster flexibility to consider other additions, knowing that Griffin is available as a backup plan for another true big. The team probably isn’t ready to give him guaranteed money until other alternatives are ruled out.

Langford will get a training camp invite somewhere, but odds are it won’t be in Boston. This team could use some depth on the wing, but that jumper hasn’t come around. He’s still only 23, but he’s not worth the flyer at this point for a team trying to contend.


Do we know what Mazzula was trying to do by not playing Grant Williams as often this season? Did he try to get Hauser more minutes because he valued his ability to make 3 shots? Did he take playing time away to get him to stop arguing with the refs? I don’t see the logic in not playing a young, up-and-comer who performed well in the playoffs less than a year earlier. – Malcolm

The guess here is that it was about the offense more than anything else. Hauser is a better floor spacer, and Williams dealt with a shooting slump at points in the second half of the regular season. As far as this offseason goes, moving on from Williams looks more like a financial move than anything else at this point. The pressure will be on Hauser now to help fill that void, though he will see competition from Oshae Brissett for those minutes.

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