Boston Celtics

  • L-R: Danilo Gallinari, Malcolm Brogdon (Getty Images)

    L-R: Danilo Gallinari, Malcolm Brogdon (Getty Images)

    During a media session at the beginning of the offseason, Celtics president of basketball operations Brad Stevens said one of his biggest goals this offseason was to add scoring and overall consistency to the bench. With his two big moves of the of the offseason – trading for Malcolm Brogdon and signing Danilo Gallinari – he appears to have accomplished that feat.

    There’s a different path to assuming that role for each player. Brogdon has started every game he’s played the last four seasons, and was the leading scorer for the Pacers last year. During his introductory press conference on Thursday, the 29-year-old was asked about making the switch.

    “I want to come here and sacrifice to win,” Brogdon replied. “I think everybody on a great team – everybody sacrifices. [Jayson] Tatum, [Jaylen] Brown, all of us have to take things off of our plate and sacrifice a few things. For me – I think Gallinari too – we’re trying to add, we’re not trying to take away. This team already has something special, they’ve made it to the Finals. They already have a recipe. I want to add to that recipe, not disrupt it. So whatever this team needs from me…that’s what I’m going to do.”

    “I’m in my prime. I’m 29 years old. I experienced winning at a high level in Milwaukee for my first three years. Went to Indiana, had a solid season and then two rough seasons. So this is everything I’ve wanted,” Brogdon explained. “To be able to get back to this level. To be able to compete with guys that want to win a championship and that are all in, that want to sacrifice to win. It’s very fortuitous for me to be here, and I think it’s the perfect time for me.

    Brogdon also spoke about how highly he views the team’s incumbent starting point guard, Marcus Smart. “I think Marcus is one of the biggest winners that we’ve seen in this league.” Brogdon said. “It’s hard to really put your finger on what it is about him, but he’s a winner. He knows how to win games. He’s going to help you no matter what.”

    As for how Brogdon views the relationship between the two? “This move, bringing me here, actually helps him. I’m going to push Marcus. I’m going to embrace him. He’s going to embrace me. We’re going to push each other,” he continued. “I really think we’re actually going to play really well together. I think we have different skill sets but I think we both want to win so bad it doesn’t matter. All the other stuff is distraction and noise. I think we’re going to come together and really make this thing work.”

  • If Brogdon needs advice on making the transition to coming off the bench, he has a valuable resource joining him in Boston in Gallinari. The sixth overall pick in the 2008 NBA Draft, Gallinari spent the heavy majority of his first 11 NBA seasons in the starting lineup of various teams.

    It wasn’t until the 2020-2021 season when he joined the Atlanta Hawks that he started featuring in a bench role, starting just four of the 51 games he played that year. Last season was more of the same as he started 18 times in 66 regular season games.

    “It’s never easy, especially mentally, but it’s something that – I accepted it and mentally you’ve got to get used to it and you’ve got to accept it,” Gallinari said of making the transition two years ago. “It was a moved that I decided to accept and do, and I think I did a good job in those two years as a bench player in Atlanta.”

    “It’s something that you’ve got to adjust, and you’ve got to be a pro. Whatever you need to do, whatever needs to be done, you’ve got to do it,” he continued. “Like I said, I had to adjust. It was a process. But it’s something that happens to the majority of the players.”

    As they adjust to their new roles, Brogdon and Gallinari will hope to add punch to a Celtics’ bench unit that ranked 26th in the NBA in points per game last season, averaging 30.2 per contest. In the postseason, they averaged 22.5 points per game, which ranked 14th of 16 teams.