Basketball

Celtics introduce Malcolm Brogdon and Danilo Gallinari

On Tuesday morning, the Boston Celtics kicked off a press conference to introduce their newest acquisitions, guard Malcolm Brogdon and forward Danilo Gallinari. Brogdon was acquired in a deal with the Indiana Pacers early in free agency, and the deal was made official after clearing physicals; Gallinari was traded from Atlanta to San Antonio for Dejounte Murray, and made his signing with the Celtics official after clearing waivers.

“It’s really clear how good of a fit both of these guys are,” said President Brad Stevens after spending the last day or so with both Brogdon and Gallinari as the team finalized the transactions. Brogdon, 29, spent the beginning of his career with the Milwaukee Bucks where he won Rookie of the Year honors in 2017 and was part of the 50-40-90 club in 2019. The veteran guard has spent the last three years in Indiana after joining the team in free agency, and after inking an extension last season with the Pacers, the Celtics will have him under contract through the 2024-25 season.

Gallinari, who turns 34 in August, brings more veteran experience and some serious shooting with size to a Celtics roster in desperate need of some bench firepower. “We are thrilled to welcome Danilo to Boston”, said Stevens, “With his elite shooting abilities, he has long been established as of the league’s best scorers with size.” In a limited role last season with the Hawks, Gallinari shot 38.1% from deep on 4.5 attempts per game, and shot over 40% from deep the previous three seasons before that. His experience and offensive polish will add a new dimension to Boston’s second unit.

For the Italian forward, joining the Celtics was a “no brainer” since Gallinari grew up as a Boston fan. Even an old photo of a young Danilo in full Celtics gear started making rounds on Twitter. “Many reasons. I grew up with my dad, since I was a little kid with my dad and Larry Bird being a Celtics fan … you walk in this facility and you see what’s going on around, the banners … it was an easy choice,” said Gallinari at Boston’s press conference on Tuesday morning. On the chance on playing at TD Garden after years of rooting for the team, Gallinari said “I think about it. I have dreams about it.” After joining the NBA in 2008, Gallinari will finally get his chance to suit up in Boston.

For Malcolm Brogdon, the trade to the Boston Celtics represented an opportunity to compete on a team pushing for an NBA championship again. “I’m in my prime. I’m 29 years old. I’ve experienced winning at a high level,” said Brogdon. “This is everything I’ve wanted, to be able to get back to this (championship) level.” With the Pacers in full rebuild, the team had been looking to move on from the veteran guard, and after the Washington Wizards backed out of a potential deal for Brogdon, Brad Stevens and the Celtics came to call.

During the press conference, Brogdon spoke on the history of the Celtics, as well as his family rooting for the team in the past. “My grandfather, who passed away a few years ago, was the biggest Bill Russell and Red Auerbach fan. I love the Celtics. It’s honor to put on this jersey. It’s a privilege,” said Brogdon. With Marcus Smart being the incumbent point guard on the team, the organization made clear to their longest-tenured player that he will still remain the starting guard for this team while Brogdon will be a 6th man for Boston’s second unit, a role that Brogdon willingly embraces.

On the reigning Defensive Player of the Year, Brogdon said that Smart is “one of the biggest winners in the league” and that he looks forward to the chance to play alongside him in Boston. “I think bringing me here helps him. I’m going to embrace him, he’s going to embrace me,” said Brogdon.

Much like what has been echoed by other Celtics players and staff, the team has clear aspirations for a championship, and Brogdon is no exception to that. “For us here in Boston this year, we know we have a chance to do something special,” said Brogdon. “It’s up to us to hold each other accountable and take advantage of this moment.”

With these acquisitions, Boston has continued to build momentum towards the upcoming season, and Brad Stevens affirmed that the team has been active in every way to improve on last season’s success. On dipping into the tax to make the most competitive roster possible about stars Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum, Brad Stevens said “We’ve had the green light the whole time to make those calls.”

It’s still early in the offseason, but there’s a lot to look forward to in Boston.

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