It felt like a matter of time before the Pacers moved on from Malcolm Brogdon, and the time was Friday. Indiana sent Brogdon to the Boston Celtics and got five players — Nik Stauskas, Daniel Theis, Aaron Nesmith, Juwan Morgan and Malik Fitts — and a 2023 first-round pick in return. It also gives the Pacers enough cap space to sign a max-contract player in free agency.
Here's how experts say Indiana fared:
'He really wants this': Pacers all-in on Tyrese Haliburton after trading Malcolm Brogdon
Bleacher Report: B+
Andy Bailey is the most kind regarding the Pacers' haul.
"If this is the best they could get, great. Waiting for the trade deadline could've helped, but it also might've backfired," he wrote. "Given all the injuries Brogdon had suffered through over the last few years, another one in 2022-23 could've scared teams away from including any firsts. In this case, Indiana can at least tout that it got one, and Aaron Nesmith isn't a bad prospect to take a flier on."
CBS Sports' Michael Kaskey-Blomain called the Pacers' move a "prudent one" made with an eye toward the future.
"The pick probably won't be too high as the Celtics project to be very good again next season, but it's still valuable nonetheless," he wrote. "The argument could be made that they should have held onto Brodgon until the trade deadline in order to maximize his trade value, but that's simply speculation. The team found a deal they liked now, and moved on it. There's nothing wrong with that."
Cole Huff said the trade is...meh.
"Maybe Nesmith ends up being something. Theis could get flipped, but if not, he’s a fine placeholder while the Pacers rebuild," Huff wrote. "Everyone else involved is unimportant. Nevertheless, I LIKE the trade for Indy but don’t LOVE it."
Michael Pina says the Pacers could've gotten more for their most valuable trade asset.
"That haul isn’t atrocious but was it really the best Indiana could do? Trades are complex negotiations and I’m sure they canvassed the league looking for some combination of young talent and draft capital," Pina wrote. "The list of interested teams that need a guard and are willing to shed both of those things for Brogdon might not have been so long, though."
Pina says Indiana is "a team that has a long way to go before they’re good again. This was a decent enough move (albeit unspectacular) to get them where they want to go."
Zach Harper is unimpressed with what the Pacers got from Boston, saying, "The Pacers could have done better here, but they’re on their way to living in the depths of the lottery, and that’s how they choose to reset.
"The problem I have with this return is the young guy the Pacers got isn’t someone they couldn’t have plucked out of the G League, the veteran role player is someone maybe they can flip for a second-round pick and the 2023 first-round pick doesn’t give them a high likelihood of a definite contributor in the future."
This article originally appeared on Indianapolis Star: NBA trade grades: Pacers send Malcolm Brogdon to Celtics