BOSTON — The Boston Celtics understand where Malcolm Brogdon came from regarding offseason frustrations.

Brogdon did just about everything the Celtics could’ve asked for last season. He took a sacrificial role, playing off the bench, and flourished. He never complained, in fact, became so good as the reserve unit leader that Brogdon earned NBA Sixth Man of the Year honors. But none of that trumps the undefeated business side of sports.

Boston dealt Brogdon plus Robert Williams III and draft picks to the Portland Trail Blazers in exchange for Jrue Holiday, abruptly ending Brogdon’s run in Boston before ever getting to reach the NBA Finals.

“Malcolm had every right to be frustrated with us in the middle of the summer,” Stevens said Monday at Celtics media day. “That said, I was not concerned with regard to if Media Day started today and Jrue Holiday didn’t become available then he was gonna be a professional because that’s what he is. He’s a good guy, he’s a good teammate and he understands the business aspect of this. So, I think he’ll do really well.”

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Getting dragged into trade rumors involving the Los Angeles Clippers reportedly didn’t sit well with Brogdon. Whether that’d be considering Brogdon’s push through an elbow injury during the playoffs or proven ability to be effective off the bench, Boston’s pursuit for an upgraded roster might’ve spoiled its relationship with the 30-year-old.

After Boston’s roster proved to be all show and no heart during the playoffs last season, the front office stepped in. Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown aren’t getting younger and other NBA teams aren’t sitting around waiting for the Celtics to finish the job finally, therefore, something needed to change. And like Marcus Smart, Brogdon also became a sacrificial lamb.

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With Smart gone, the Celtics knew bolstering their roster with a defensive specialist would help re-establish their much-needed identity in that department.

That meant playing opportunist as soon as Holiday — an ideal candidate in Boston’s eyes — became available.

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“To be candid, we knew kind of the numbers that had to match,” Stevens explained. “So you had a list of guys that might be in those type of deals that you might be interested in so you have to stay flexible and ready and all that. I think that when it became Jrue, it’s never ideal timing right before training camp, but at the same time, this is a guy that you want on your team whenever you can get him.”

Playing for the Milwaukee Bucks last season, Holiday ranked 11th among all guards in steals (1.1) per game while also averaging 19.3 points and earning All-Star honors.

Holiday is booked to earn $34 million with a player option next season, so in order to get the most of a substantially large investment, the Celtics could extend the 33-year-old like they did with Kristaps Porzingis.

Featured image via Nick Wosika/USA TODAY Sports Images