Celtics linked to Possible Trade for Young Hawks Wing

Jaylen Brown, Boston Celtics

Getty Jaylen Brown, Boston Celtics

Trade season unofficially begins on December 15, when most players are eligible to be traded.

That hasn’t stopped the rumor mill from ramping up a couple of weeks early, though, and the Boston Celtics are in the thick of it, as per usual. From the Ben Simmons and Jaylen Brown rumors to multiple analysts projecting that the All-Star pairing of Brown and Tatum could eventually be broken up – the Celtics can’t get through the day without another rumor catching them in its crosshairs.

Well, in keeping with tradition, the Celtics have found themselves linked with yet another player. This time, it’s not a star, nor is it a sharp-shooting veteran, but rather a young wing who has shown plenty of promise during his first three years in the NBA.

According to NBA insider Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report, there is some reported interest from the Atlanta Hawks in potentially moving on from De’Andre Hunter if an established veteran becomes available on the trade market.

“The Hawks have been searching around the league for a first-round pick in return for swingman Cam Reddish, sources said, as Atlanta faces a logjam at the wing. De’Andre Hunter will be eligible for a contract extension this offseason, but some rival executives believe the Hawks would entertain calls on Hunter for packages that would return an established impact veteran—something to keep in mind if Boston were to ever truly explore moving Jaylen Brown, an Atlanta native,” Fischer wrote.

Hunter, who is eligible for a rookie extension, has one year remaining on his deal beyond this season, and the Hawks may look to cash in on someone with a longer-term contract rather than have to navigate their cap sheet to keep their young wing long-term.


Fischer Notes That Boston Could Eventually Trade Brown

Fischer also shared some comments from assistant GMs around the league, most notably when discussing the future of Brown on the Celtics roster.

Brown, who has missed portions of this season due to injury, is currently the most discussed player in terms of the Celtics’ potential trade assets.

“I think they’re starting to get to a place where they don’t think he and Jayson Tatum can coexist,” Fischer’s source noted.

It seems highly unlikely the Celtics are willing to depart from their All-Star wing, especially for a young player who isn’t near Brown’s current level. Sure, Hunter is a valuable complementary player with the upside of a future All-Star. Still, trading Brown for Hunter wouldn’t make sense given the dearth of talent between the two – especially when Boston has already been linked to All-Star talents such as Simmons as a potential return.

However, it is worth noting that Brown is an Atlanta native and made his All-Star debut in the city during the 2020-21 NBA season.


Brown Made Impressive Return From Injury

Brown returned from injury on December 13 in a 19-point outing against the Milwaukee Bucks. The All-Star’s return to the court also coincided with the Celtics snapping a three-game losing streak that saw them produce a barren run of form, most notably in their loss to the Los Angeles Lakers.

Per Basketball-Reference, In 30 minutes of play, Brown provided the team with 46.2% shooting from the field, 42.9% shooting from deep, along with five assists, four rebounds, two steals, and a block, helping the Celtics defeat the reigning NBA champions in the process.

Unfortunately, Brown has been dealing with injuries to begin the year. After recovering from a ligament injury in his wrist, that saw him miss the tail-end of last season and the playoffs, the All-Star wing contracted COVID and then suffered a hamstring injury. Celtics fans also got another scare against the Bucks when Brown collided with another player and began limping. Fortunately, it was just a case of clashed knees and quickly resolved itself.

It’s worth noting that Brown’s reintegration back into the starting lineup provided the Celtics with a far greater balance on offense, which allowed Tatum additional space to operate on the perimeter and saw Boston notch 31 assists on their 43 made baskets.

Brown and the Celtics will be back in action on Friday, December 17, when they take on the Golden State Warriors.

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