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Chalk this one up as one of those deals that benefits both teams. The Boston Celtics acquired veteran guard Malcolm Brogdon from the Indiana Pacers on Friday in exchange for five players and a first-round draft pick. Brogdon fits in nicely with the Celtics whether he starts or comes off the bench, adding experience and scoring.

The Pacers, who finished well out of the playoff picture last year at 25-57, continued to build for the future, adding a first-round pick and a host of players, led by promising former first-rounder Aaron Nesmith.

Brad Stevens hits a home run with the trade for Malcolm Brogdon

Malcolm Brogdon of the Indiana Pacers dribbles the ball in the fourth quarter against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Gainbridge Fieldhouse on March 08, 2022, in Indianapolis, Indiana. | Dylan Buell/Getty Images.

The Celtics made their way to the NBA Finals after a massive in-season turnaround. Boston went 25-25 through the first 50 games before lighting it up and ending the regular season by going 26-6. They battled their way through the toughest playoff road, defeating the Brooklyn Nets, Milwaukee Bucks, and Miami Heat to play in the championship round.

The road was tough, and the Celtics ran out of gas in the NBA Finals against a better and more experienced Golden State Warriors team. Through their run, the Celtics primarily went eight players deep.

They added Brogdon on Friday, sending out Nesmith, Daniel Theis, Nick Stauskas, Malik Fitts, and Juwan Morgan, along with the draft pick. None of those five players played significant minutes during the postseason run. Brogdon put up 19.1 points, 5.1 rebounds and 5.9 assists in 33 games this season.

For Brad Stevens, it appears to be another successful transaction. Stevens, who replaced Danny Ainge as president of basketball operations at the beginning of the season, pulled off two under-the-radar deals at the trade deadline. In two separate moves, he landed Derrick White and Theis.

White played a key role off the bench during the playoffs. Theis filled in nicely for an injured Robert Williams down the stretch of the regular season to help the Celtics secure the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference.

The Pacers also made out nicely in the Brogdon deal


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Brogdon fits in nicely with the Celtics, a team that’s already in win-now mode. He’s a shooter, a playmaker, and plays solid defense. Stevens snagged him without giving up any core pieces.

The Pacers aren’t going anywhere soon, so Brogdon was expendable. Indiana got a nice player in Nesmith, who just never got a true opportunity with the Celtics.

Nesmith, a first-round pick in 2020, averaged just 11 minutes per game this season. The 6-foot-5 Nesmith is athletically gifted. He’s a proven shooter and is a strong two-way player. The Celtics made him the 14th player chosen in 2020.

The Pacers are clearly building for the future. They landed Tyrese Haliburton in a deal with the Sacramento Kings at the deadline, and Nesmith could certainly make some noise if given a chance with the Pacers.

Nesmith and a first-rounder could be building blocks that help the Pacers get back into the playoff hunt.

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