Celtics Face Conundrum Amid Jaylen Brown ‘Flight-Risk’ Concerns

Jaylen Brown, Boston Celtics

Getty Jaylen Brown, Boston Celtics

As the February 9 trade deadline draws near, Boston Celtics fans will pay close attention to Brad Stevens’ movements as they patiently wait to see if their team will be making any moves to further improve their bench unit.

However, according to Bleacher Report’s Dan Favale, Stevens may face a conundrum should he be required to include a future first-round draft pick in any potential negotiations, primarily due to the impending free agency of Jaylen Brown.

“Boston has the capacity to dangle first-rounders in 2025, 2027 and 2029. The latter is too far away to spotlight…Rival teams should be most interested in the 2025 selection. It conveys relatively soon yet post-dates Brown’s entry in 2024 free agency. The current extension rules make it prohibitive for him to sign one, so he will hit the open market. This isn’t to imply Brown is a flight risk, but he could be,” Favale wrote.

Brown’s current contract will expire at the end of the 2023-24 season, and unless an extension is agreed upon (unlikely), he will become an unrestricted free agent, allowing him to field offers from any team with the cap space to make him an offer.

Jaylen Brown Could Become Supermax Eligible

As things currently stand, Brown could earn himself a significant payday by becoming supermax eligible; however, he would need to either make an All-NBA team, win an MVP award, or be crowned Defensive Player of the Year.

In a September 15 article, Bleacher Report’s Zach Buckley urged the Georgia native to chase supermax eligibility to earn himself both a significant payday and long-term security with the Celtics.

“He (Brown) has a chance to make himself supermax-eligible, but only if he stays in Boston. To get such a colossal payday, he must make an All-NBA team, capture the MVP or earn Defensive Player of the Year. Sounds simple enough, right? Obviously, any would be incredible feats, but so would the reward: a possible five-year, $273 million pact with the Shamrocks down the line,” Buckley wrote on September 15.

In 40 games this season, Brown is averaging 27.2 points, 7.1 rebounds, and 3.2 assists per game while shooting 49.8% from the field, 32.9% from deep, and 79.5% from the free-throw line – numbers that, when coupled with the Celtics’ current success, should keep him in the conversation for an All-NBA nod this year.

Jaylen Brown Enjoys Playing In Atlanta

When speaking to the media following the Celtics’ November 16 victory over the Atlanta Hawks, Brown gave a candid response when asked about playing in front of his hometown crowd and what that means to him.

“It’s always fun coming back home, seeing some familiar faces…Seeing people that you seen growing up, seeing family, seeing friends — courtside — giving you support, showing you love. Leaving after the game, people chanting my name. Like, I grew up and went to high school — I went to Marietta — probably 15, 20 minutes away from here. Growing up, I went to a lot of Hawks games.

It’s just a blessing to be able to be here at this point in my career and still be able to come and to represent this part of Georgia where I came from…So, it’s amazing to be out here tonight and to get a win, but overall, I’m grateful to God to be able to be here and do what I love and represent my city,” Brown said.

If Brown does become an unrestricted free agent in 2024, the Hawks will likely be a significant player in the chase for his signature. Luckily for the Celtics, Brown is still on course to earn supermax eligibility and help his team win an NBA championship; hopefully, either one of those will be enough to keep him with the team long-term.

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