Malcolm Brogdon, who the Celtics acquired in a trade with Indiana, feels his defense and playmaking ability make him a perfect fit in Boston. Nick Wass/Associated Press

LAS VEGAS — It’s going to be a process once Malcolm Brogdon gets to Boston. The guard joins the reigning Eastern Conference champs, billed as perhaps the final missing piece for a team that was two wins away from an NBA title.

The fit is clearly there. The Celtics wanted a playmaking guard who will add to their league-best defense and that’s exactly what Brogdon brings to Boston.

The former Pacer said he wanted to be back in a situation where he’s competing for NBA championships, and there’s arguably no better landing spot for him than Boston. Brogdon detailed how his game will fit in with the Celtics in an appearance on Adrian Wojnarowski’s podcast, “The Woj Pod.”

“Defensively, they were the best defensive team in the NBA,” Brogdon said. “I think the gap only widens now, now that I’m on the team. I don’t think it could be even a better fit. They weren’t on my radar early on, but for them to come in at the very end and to happen that quick – within 24, 36 hours – it was fortuitous and I was meant to be there.”

Celtics President of Basketball Operations Brad Stevens swung the trade for Brodgon shortly after free agency opened up. He traded the team’s 2023 first-round pick and multiple bench pieces to Indiana, ensuring the Celtics core didn’t change.

Brogdon will likely be in a sixth-man type role during the season, which he told Wojnarowski he would embrace. Brogdon’s been a consistent starter in the league, but he said he’ll do anything now that he’s part of a winning culture. There are some injury concerns for Brogdon, who only played in 36 games last season. But the Celtics can be conservative with his minutes because of their depth.


“I have maybe three more years of my prime,” Brogdon said. “I’ve gone to a team where I think I fit their timeline. I think I’m right in the middle of it. I fit on the court physically – my skillset, my game, everything fits.”

The Celtics now employ a three-guard rotation that should cause defensive problems for opposing teams. Brogdon fits right in with Derrick White and Marcus Smart, the defensive player of the year. Brogdon is 6-foot, 5-inches, which should help him in Boston’s switch-heavy defense.

When the Celtics fell in six games to the Warriors in the NBA Finals, it was clear they needed to upgrade their bench and playmaking. The turnovers and exhaustion piled up by the end of the season, and the Celtics just couldn’t generate enough quality looks. Brogdon and Danilo Gallinari, who signed as a free agent, should give the Celtics more depth.

“I’m a high-level player in the NBA,” Brogdon said. “It would take a lot for a team like that to get me. It’s a testament to the Boston Celtics and how much they want to win. They are willing to spend and willing to have a guy making $20 million come off the bench as a sixth man and help them win a championship.”

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