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Boston Celtics

Boston Celtics

Boston Celtics

Malcolm Brogdon of the Boston Celtics dribbles against the Miami Heat during Game 4 of the 2023 Eastern Conference Finals. (Megan Briggs/Getty Images)

Malcolm Brogdon is still a member of the Boston Celtics, even though he almost wasn’t.

Now that Brad Stevens bit the proverbial bullet and traded Marcus Smart away instead, Brogdon remains and should be in line to resume his usual “sixth man” role in the 2023-24 season. But Brogdon also suffered a serious arm injury during the Eastern Conference Finals, which severely limited him as he tried to play through it.

Fortunately, there’s been a positive update on Brogdon’s murky injury status for next season.

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According to Adam Himmelsbach in a recent notebook for the Boston Globe, a league source says Brogdon is “expected to be back in time for the start of the regular season,” even if he ends up getting surgery. The injury is described here as a right forearm strain, after it was previously bandied about as an elbow issue. Close enough.

But the timetable is still promising news, both for Brogdon and the Celtics. It’s been unclear how Brogdon or the team want to address the injury, which is probably a reflection of their own uncertainty about it. But the C’s seem like they can rest assured that if they end up keeping Brogdon, they’ll have him back and ready to play when the real games start again.

CLEVELAND, OHIO - MARCH 06: Malcolm Brogdon #13 of the Boston Celtics shoots over Dean Wade #32 of the Cleveland Cavaliers during the first quarter at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse on March 06, 2023 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

Jason Miller/Getty Images

It’s also possible that Stevens still views Brogdon as a trade chip, as he looks to modify the Celtics’ roster for 2023-24. But if he traded Smart and Brogdon, he’d have a real void to fill at guard with only Derrick White, Payton Pritchard, and J.D. Davison remaining under contract.

Perhaps that is a depth chart Stevens would feel relatively comfortable with during the season. But it wouldn’t be surprising if he supplemented that group with a veteran who can replace some of Smart or Brogdon’s strengths, particularly at the defensive end or the three-point line.

  • INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - FEBRUARY 23: Malcolm Brogdon #13 of the Boston Celtics attempts a layup while being guarded by Daniel Theis #27 of the Indiana Pacers in the second quarter at Gainbridge Fieldhouse on February 23, 2023 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

    Dylan Buell/Getty Images

  • Brogdon was a shell of himself after straining his forearm during the conference finals against the Miami Heat. He played in only four out of the last five games, and averaged just 12.5 minutes per game when he did play. He shot 6.3 percent from the floor and went 0-for-9 from three-point range.

    The question for Brogdon, now, concerns his relationship with Stevens and the team after he was very nearly the one traded for Kristaps Porzingis. Stevens may have to at least smooth things over with Brogdon to ensure that all is well behind the scenes and Brogdon is back on board for next season.

  • Malcolm Brogdon of the Boston Celtics drives against Gabe Vincent of the Miami Heat during Game 3 of the 2023 Eastern Conference Finals. (Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images)

    Megan Briggs/Getty Images

  • According to multiple reports, the Celtics’ original three-team trade broke down because the Clippers didn’t have enough time to evaluate Brogdon’s health before last week’s deadline for Porzingis’ option with the Wizards. ESPN’s Brian Windhorst later reported that the Celtics might be out of luck on a Brogdon trade altogether.

    However, Himmelsbach’s source now seems to be signaling to whoever needs to hear it that Brogdon is going to be fine, even with off-season surgery. Sometimes, in sports off-seasons, the media proxy wars among teams are as interesting as the moves themselves.

    Assuming Brogdon is OK for next season and teams now have some time to take a closer look, you can’t shut the door on a trade just yet. But for now, the Celtics are going to have to go forward with him and White atop the point guard depth chart.

  • We’ll continue to keep you updated on the Celtics’ offseason, especially in free agency as it kicks off Friday at 6 p.m., here at

    Click here for complete Boston Celtics coverage at

    Matt Dolloff is a writer and podcaster for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Yell at him on Twitter @mattdolloff and follow him on Instagram @realmattdolloff. Check out all of Matt’s content here.

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