As new team president and GM Brad Stevens endeavors to put his touch on the team’s roster and coaching staff, one thing is crystal clear — all is not well with the Boston Celtics.
During his eight years on the sidelines, Stevens had multiple 50-win campaigns and led his club to three appearances in the Eastern Conference Finals. However, even with the team’s young star duo of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown still in place, as well as a seemingly talented cast of support players, the Celtics scuffled in 2020-21.
In the end, Boston limped into postseason play with a 36-36 record and was eliminated in the first round in a 4-1 rout at the hands of the Brooklyn Nets.
As a result, fans and pundits alike are pontificating around the clock about what Stevens needs to do in order to correct course. To that end, a controversial sports radio host has proposed a radical solution.
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Cowherd: Cs Should Trade Jaylen Brown & Marcus Smart
During a recent episode of his show, The Herd, FS1’s Colin Cowherd launched into one of his signature segments, The 3-Word Game. For the latest installment, the host set out to describe the current state of NBA teams both still in and recently eliminated from postseason play.
His take on Stevens’ squad could be particularly crushing for the optimists remaining in the Massachusetts Bay area.
When the Celtics came up in the discussion, Cowherd’s three-word summary for them was “Bos-ton of problems.”
He expounded on that assessment as follows:
“Looking for a coach, overhauled the front office, Kemba Walker’s got bad knees, Jaylen Brown was injured,” Cowherd said. “I’ll defend Danny Ainge. I think Danny Ainge is, you know — there’s some that may be better, but Boston’s kind of rebooting the whole process.”
Obviously, rebooting one year after coming up just two wins short of an NBA Finals berth is a grim scenario. However, it could be doubly so if Stevens opts to take Cowherd’s advice on how to remedy the situation:
“They’re probably going to need to move a Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart to get a running mate for Jayson Tatum.”
Brown Was a Beast In 2020-21
While “trade Jaylen Brown” has been uttered before by a segment of the Celtics fanbase, Stevens would do well to carefully consider going down that road. All-Star players in their early-to-mid 20s who are locked up on long-term deals are something every NBA team wants to have.
And Brown is one of the better ones league-wide.
Before falling prey to a torn scapholunate ligament in his left wrist, which ended his season somewhat early, the former No. 3 was having an incredibly efficient year for the Celtics. Over 58 games, he put up a career-best 24.7 points per contest, while also averaging 6.0 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 1.2 steals.
Moreover, he posted a career-high effective field goal percentage of 55.8, while shooting nearly 40% from three-point range. Consequently, he averaged 1.3 points per shot attempt.
On the other hand, he’s probably one of the few players on the roster who could net a significant return in a potential trade
Smart, meanwhile, may be easier to part with, but he may not command enough of a return to make a major difference for the Cs.