The Boston Celtics will be looking for crafty ways to improve this summer. They don’t have any real cap space to work with, so what they’ll be left with is their MLE and multiple TPEs. And while it’s fun to think up trade scenarios with the TPEs, the MLE is the more likely route Boston will take.
Boston’s taxpayer MLE will be worth roughly $6.3 million. There are some quality players they could target with that amount of money. Well, one option that has been repeatedly mentioned was just discussed again by Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer.
O’Connor told NBC Sports Boston that the Celtics could look to target Bruce Brown of the Brooklyn Nets. Brown, who attended high school in Wakefield, Massachusetts, would provide the Celtics with a unique offensive skillset combined with solid defensive intensity.
“I’m thinking about guys like Bruce Brown from Brooklyn. The type of playmaking he could provide off the bench, a real dirty-work guy. Massachusetts native also, by the way,” O’Connor pointed out.
Adding Brown would definitely improve Boston’s depth, as that’s something they struggled with during the NBA Finals. He’s not a prolific three-point shooter, but he can hold his own from distance, and the rest of his game outweighs that downside.
This isn’t the first time Brown has been connected to Boston, either. An anonymous GM told Heavy.com that the Celtics could target Brown this summer, too.
Celtics’ Connection to Brown Runs Deeper
The GM pointed out that the Celtics are going to be on the hunt for above-average defenders this summer, and that Brown fits that bill. They also noted a sneaky connection Boston has to Brown (other than his Massachusetts roots).
“They are going to look at guys who can defend. I would not be surprised if they make a pitch for Bruce Brown. He might be out of their price range in the end and maybe he goes back to Brooklyn, but Ime (Udoka) was an assistant there and we’ve seen that carries some weight with who they bring in. He was good in that Celtics series. If he can’t get a big offer, they could sneak in with him on a one-and-one (one year, with a player option) deal and put him to good use,” the GM explained.
This past season, Brown averaged 9.0 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 2.1 assists on 50.6% shooting from the field and 40.4% shooting from distance. In the playoffs against the Celtics, however, he stepped things up even more. He averaged 14.0 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 2.8 assists on 56.8% shooting from the field and 42.9% shooting from deep.
During his post-season press conference, Celtics GM Brad Stevens even made some comments about Boston’s needs that fit Brown’s description to a tee.
Stevens’ Description of Boston’s Needs
When asked about potential additions this offseason, Stevens stated that the Celtics have a good idea of what they need. And his explanation (unintentionally) described Brown perfectly.
“We both have a pretty good idea of what we need, and what we want to add that doesn’t take away from the group … there’s a still a lot of continuity that can be built by being together,” Stevens noted.
Brown’s solid defense and versatile offensive game make him the perfect candidate to add to Boston’s success without taking anything away. He doesn’t need the ball in his hands and plays his role perfectly.
If the Celtics convince him to leave the Nets, Brown would be the perfect fit in Boston.