Pacers trading Malcolm Brogdon to Celtics for 2023 first-round pick and five players
Players included from Boston: Daniel Theis, Aaron Nesmith, Juwan Morgan, Nik Stauskas and Malik Fitts.
As other NBA teams agreed to free-agent deals or re-signed their own Thursday, the first night of free agency, the Pacers sat back and worked on their top priority.
That was moving on from guard Malcolm Brogdon after three seasons. He has three more years under contract after being signed to an extension last fall.
On the first full day of free agency, the Pacers secured a deal with the Boston Celtics. The Pacers will receive the Celtics’ 2023 first-round pick, Daniel Theis, Aaron Nesmith — along with Juwan Morgan, Nik Stauskas and Malik Fitts, a league source confirmed.
The deal was first reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
The Pacers are now set up to have three first-round picks in 2023: Their own, the Cavs’ (top 14 protected), and the Celtics’.
The trade also frees up cap space. And the Pacers aren’t done making moves. They reached agreement with forward/center Jalen Smith to bring him back and they continue to consider offers for Myles Turner as the front office reshapes the roster.
And with Ricky Rubio agreeing to return to the Cavaliers, the Pacers could potentially add assets by completing a sign-and-trade deal. That’s to be determined in a few days.
Don’t expect all five incoming players to remain with the Pacers. They have 11 players under contract, plus three draft picks and five incoming Celtics. That’s 19 players; team rosters are 15, but can stretch to 20 in the offseason.
Theis, who will earn 8.7 million next season, is entering the second year of a four-year, $35.6 million deal that includes a team option for the 2024-25 season. He’s a competitive big man off the bench, and he’s a good contract.
Nesmith, 22, was the 14th pick in the 2020 NBA Draft. Playing on a team that received the NBA Finals, Nesmith did not get much of an opportunity. He played in 52 games and averaged 3.8 points and 1.7 rebounds per game.
Nesmith will earn $3.8 million next season and the Pacers will hold an option worth $5.6 million for the final season of his rookie contract.
This is the second time Stauskas has been dealt to the Pacers. The first time was in 2019 when the Houston Rockets needed to clear salary to fall under the luxury tax. The Pacers received a 2021 second-round pick as compensation.
Stauskas, a product of the University of Michigan, is close friends with Pacers guard T.J. McConnell. And another Canadian on the roster. For now.
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