The Celtics will begin training camp ahead of the 2023-24 season on Tuesday, October 3. According to Celtics GM Brad Stevens, Kristaps Porzingis and Malcolm Brogdon are expected to be healthy for the start of training camp following their injuries.
Boston acquired Porzingis in June 2023 in a blockbuster three-team trade. The former Washington Wizards star suffered a foot injury in August that caused him to miss the FIBA World Cup.
In acquiring Porzingis, the Celtics traded Marcus Smart to the Memphis Grizzlies after the original deal that would have sent Brogdon to the Los Angeles Clippers fell through. This was due to Brogdon’s elbow injury that occurred during Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Miami Heat.
News of Brogdon potentially being unhappy with the Celtics this offseason broke a few days ago.
However, as was reported by Gary Washington of the Boston Globe, Stevens acknowledged these reports and said that Brogdon is planning on staying with the Celtics and “is looking forward to getting started.”
— Celtics on NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSCeltics) September 21, 2023
Two Key Celtics Players Expected to Be Healthy for Training Camp
Kristaps Porzingis Enters His First Year With the Celtics
Porzingis is coming off of one of the best years of his career so far. The 28-year-old averaged 23.2 PPG, 8.4 RPG, and 1.5 BPG in 65 games last season with the Wizards. Porzingis also shot 49.8% from the field and 38.5% from the three-point line.
The Celtics acquired Porzingis to lighten the offensive load on Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. Porzingis is capable of playing on the perimeter. However, his success in the post is likely what was most intriguing to the Celtics.
Porzingis also adds star power as a big man next to Al Horford and Robert Williams III. And while he may not be as lockdown of a defender as the other two, Porzingis’ 2.7 defensive win shares from last season is the highest he’s had since his rookie year.
He has not suited up for the Celtics yet, but there’s plenty of reason to be excited to see the Latvian star in Boston ahead of training camp.
How Will Malcolm Brogdon Come Back From His Injury?
Boston acquired Brogdon from a trade with the Indiana Pacers in 2022. In his first year in Boston, the guard didn’t disappoint. The reigning Sixth Man of the Year averaged 14.9 PPG, 4.2 RPG, and 3.7 APG on 44.4 3pt%.
Brogdon was also impressive in the postseason, averaging 11.9 PPG, 3.9 RPG, and 3.7 APG in 19 games. His 3pt% took a hit as he shot 37.9%, however.
After his injury during last year’s Eastern Conference Finals, Brogdon’s minutes became limited and was inactive for Game 6.
Having a whole offseason to recover allows Brogdon to return to the Celtics and start training camp healthy.
With the Celtics no longer having Smart on the team, it will be interesting to see what Brogdon’s role becomes in Boston.
The Celtics will likely start Derrick White in Smart’s place. However, if needed, the Celtics should feel comfortable with having Brogdon start in some games as well.
The Last Word
The Celtics are currently among the favorites in the league to win their 18th title in NBA history in 2024 going into training camp. And having Brogdon and Porzingis in full health is crucial to this team’s success.
Last year, the Celtics barely failed to make consecutive NBA Finals appearances. Because of this, there is a sense of urgency for the Celtics to get over the hump.
For the Celtics, their regular season kicks off on Wednesday, October 25 on the road against the New York Knicks.