Proposed Deadline Blockbuster Sees Celtics Pair 3-Time All-Star With Tatum & Brown

Celtics trade proposal sends Ben Simmons to Boston

Getty Boston Celtics teammates Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum celebrate.

Remember all that chatter of how Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown don’t work together? Yeah… about that. Admittedly, the star duo still needs to show consistency alongside one another for larger chunks. However, the Celtics‘ recent surge up the Eastern Conference ranks has made any speculation of Boston breaking up the two Jays quickly fall to the wayside.

Still, that’s not to say that Brad Stevens and company won’t be active at the trade deadline this season, but rather that Boston will look to build around their star-studded duo rather than split them up — which honestly, has been the plan internally from the jump.

One way to put that plan into motion would be to find a third running mate to play alongside Tatum and Brown. Preferably one who can serve as a menace defensively, while shouldering ball-handling duties on the offensive end. This is especially true if Marcus Smart is at the center of such a proposal, which is exactly the case in Bleacher Report’s latest column, where Zach Buckley sees the Celtics offering up a ton of capital to secure the services of Ben Simmons.

B/R Proposal Sees Celtics Land Simmons, Keep Brown

Not too long ago, Brown was perceived by many as legitimate collateral to acquire Simmons in a deal. Yet, while he’d still likely serve as enough compensation to make such a deal go down, Buckley notes that a Brown-Simmons swap is nowhere on the table.

“If the Celtics really wanted Simmons—who could turbo-charge their third-ranked defense and help their 19th-ranked offense get the ball zipping around—they could get him for Jaylen Brown,” wrote the B/R columnist. “But, as Celtics president of basketball operations Brad Stevens said when a Simmons-for-Brown swap was discussed in November, there’s “nothing doing” on that front, via Celtics Blog.”

With that in mind, Buckley sees the Celtics opting for quantity over quality when creating what he perceives as Boston’s “final” and best Simmons trade offer ahead of the deadline. Here’s how the proposal shapes up:

  • Boston Celtics Receive:
    • Ben Simmons
  • Philadelphia 76ers Receive: 
    • Marcus Smart
    • Dennis Schroder
    • Aaron Nesmith
    • Draft considerations

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Simmons Not Likely to Land With Celtics; Nets Talks Heating Up

As Buckley highlights, while the trio of Smart, Schroder and Nesmith may be enough for Daryl Morey to entertain an offer, Boston’s pursuit of Simmons will almost certainly come up short without the inclusion of Brown.

“Smart might be a tenacious defender, but he’s still a downgrade from Simmons. Schroder is more of a scorer than the natural table-setter the Sixers seek. And Nesmith is a useful shooter by perception but not at all by production (career 30.5 percent from range),” wrote Buckley.

Simmons, 25, has yet to appear in an NBA game this season as he and the Sixers organization are at a standstill on his playing future. According to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst (via John Clark of NBC Sports), Philadelphia has engaged in trade talks with the Brooklyn Nets centered around a deal that would swap Simmons for former league MVP James Harden. Per Windhorst, Brooklyn is asking for Simmons and two to three other players. 


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