The Boston Celtics are wading through a nightmare off-season, leaving the successes of last season as nothing but a distant memory.
Suddenly, as summer that promised so much, is now one the franchise and its fanbase would like to soon forget. Unfortunately, the dark cloud floating over Boston right now will likely be there for some time to come, however, the new season is right around the corner, whether we like it or not.
Boston is expected to be a championship-contending team, and many believe they have the core pieces in place to fight for another NBA Finals appearance in the months to come, but that doesn’t mean Brad Stevens won’t be looking for upgrades where possible.
According to a recent article by Heavy.com‘s Ashish Mathur, there is a that could further cement the Celtics as one of the NBA’s most dangerous teams. On September 22, Mathur postulated a trade that would send Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart to the Los Angeles Lakers in return for superstar forward Anthony Davis in what would be a blockbuster deal.
However, it’s worth noting that Mathur was looking at this trade as a possible way to further strengthen the Lakers, rather than it being a deal to suit both parties – because as things stand, there is little confidence within the Lakers fanbase that Davis can remain healthy throughout a full season.
Since the Lakers acquired Davis from the New Orleans Pelicans, the incredibly talented big man has participated in a total of 138 games across three seasons, playing over 60 regular-season games just once – back in the 2019-20 season.
Lakers a Threat to Land Jaylen Brown in 2024
One of the main reasons Mathur’s trade proposal makes sense is because the Lakers are seen as a potential threat to acquire Jaylen Brown once his current contract expires in 2024. Yet, given that Brown is widely known to be a fierce competitor, and has ties to California due to his time with the California Golden Bears, there is a legitimate chance he could be tempted to make the move should the opportunity arise.
Of course, getting the chance to play alongside LeBron James before he calls time on his illustrious career could also be a factor for Brown, should the proposed trade ever make it to the negotiations stage.
On August 29, an Eastern Conference Executive, who spoke to Heavy.com’s Sean Deveney under the condition of anonymity, also shared their thoughts regarding the Lakers as a potential free agent destination for Brown in 2024.
“Obviously, a star comes up when the Lakers have cap space and there is going to be that speculation. There are players who want to play for the Lakers because they’re the Lakers and they’re in L.A., but I don’t think Brown is an L.A. guy that way. It’s more just because he’d want to play with LeBron. If LeBron was going to stay there if Davis stays healthy if they are back to competing in the West and not just trying to make a play-in. That’s the lure for anyone in that free-agent class,” The executive said.
Whether the Celtics would be interested in trading away one of their star wings for a forward who has yet to prove his injury issues are behind him is another story – but from a talent and fit perspective, there’s every reason to believe Stevens would at least pick up the phone.
Brown Could Want to Lead His Own Team
When the Jaylen Brown and Kevin Durant rumors were floating around earlier this summer, there was a report by WEEI’s Jermaine Wiggins during a July 7 interview, that Brown could be looking for a route to potentially leading his own team in the coming years.
“Let’s just say, we were in the same spot…I’m no snitch. All I’m saying is Jaylen Brown wants his own identity, and he ain’t getting that here. If he goes to Brooklyn, he becomes the guy. That team is now built around him. Kyrie’s not going to be there. It looks like Kyrie’s going to head to the Lakers…You have Brown. You have Marcus Smart in Brooklyn. They re-sign (Nic) Claxton. They brought back Patty Mills.
Now, Brooklyn has a team that they can build around — a young star in Jaylen Brown. Jaylen Brown gets out of the shadow of Jayson Tatum, and he can now run his own team. Perfect for everybody. You get KD, who can share the spotlight. We’ve seen him do it before,” Wiggins detailed during his spot on the July 7 recording.
Given that LeBron is entering the finals years of his career, and Davis no longer projects to be the future of the Lakers franchise, Brown could be tempted to spend a year or two playing alongside one of the greatest players in history before assuming control of the Lakers and becoming their leading star. Although, Boston would probably demand a far better package than simply absorbing the final three years of Davis’ $189 million contract – especially if the deal would also cost them Marcus Smart.