Last year, there were questions about whether Boston Celtics stars Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown could play together.
While the duo put that doubt to rest by leading Boston to the NBA Finals, those same questions they once faced are now starting to pop up about a different pairing on the Celtics — even though they haven’t played a single minute together yet.
By trading for Malcolm Brogdon, the Celtics loaded up their backcourt, adding the 6-foot-5 guard into the mix and creating some skepticism on how Brogdon will fit in alongside Marcus Smart with both playing seemingly the same position.
Brogdon comes to Boston as a talented playmaker who hasn’t come off the bench since his second season in the NBA, and Smart sees himself as the de facto point guard and floor general for the Celtics’ starting unit.
This could cause some tension when it comes down to who gets more minutes, who starts and who finishes each game. But Brogdon told reporters during his introductory press conference Tuesday that he believes there will be no trouble with the two co-existing.
“I’m going to push Marcus,” Brogdon said, per MassLive’s Souichi Terada. “I?m going to embrace him. He’s going to embrace me and we’re going to push each other. I really think he and I will play really well together. We have different skillsets, but we both want to win so bad it doesn’t matter. All of the other stuff is distraction and noise. We’re going to come together and make this thing work.”
Maybe in an attempt to ease any perceived tension, Brogdon also talked glowingly about the longest-tenured Celtic.
“Marcus is one of the biggest winners that we’ve seen in this league,” Brogdon said, per NBC Sports Boston. “And I think that’s why Boston loves him. I think that’s why this organization loves him. 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.”
While Brogdon is saying all the right things now, him and Smart will have to prove once the season begins that they can truly sacrifice as individuals for the betterment of the team.