Even though the players on the Boston Celtics have said all the right things leading up to Thursday’s NBA trade deadline, they aren’t oblivious to all the trade rumors flying around.
And Celtics guard Malcolm Brogdon revealed that those in the trade chatter felt like they had something to prove Wednesday night against the Philadelphia 76ers at TD Garden.
Whether it was Grant Williams or Payton Pritchard contributing, they may now have Celtics president of basketball operations Brad Stevens second-guessing if he wants to change the dynamic of the team after Boston’s reserves fueled it to a 106-99 win over the 76ers.
“Guys hear that stuff. Guys hear the chatter,” Brogdon told reporters, per NBC Sports Boston. “Guys hear people talking and it motivates them and I think it motivated a few guys tonight. Especially the big talk and the wing talk, guys stepped up and really played their asses off tonight.”
The Celtics reportedly have interest in adding big man depth or even a wing, but what exactly Boston would have to give up to acquire an additional piece is unclear.
Pritchard has made it well known that he’s in search of a bigger role on the floor, even if it doesn’t come with the Celtics, while Williams, who is a restricted free agent after this season, has had plenty of rumors surface about his future.
Williams showed just how valuable he can be to a title-contending team, though. The 24-year-old posted 15 points, including knocking down four 3-pointers, along with eight rebounds and five assists against the 76ers.
And following the win, Williams seemed to make a plea to Stevens to keep the Celtics intact the way they currently are through the trade deadline.
“You control what you can control,” Williams told reporters, per NBC Sports Boston. “That’s the one thing I’ve learned in this league. You can’t control where you’ll be, what you’re doing, what your playing time is. You can only control how you react and how you approach every single day. I think that’s what we have in this locker room. We have a bunch of guys that no matter what’s going on around them, they do a great job of coming in with great attitude and coming in with the right mentality of making the team better, no matter if they’re going to be here or not.
“We’re fortunate of having this group of guys. And I’m thankful. Hopefully we have these guys throughout the whole season, including myself.”