Despite Jaylen Brown’s recent uptick in form, the Boston Celtics continually find themselves linked with trades that would cost them their All-Star wing.
So, you won’t be surprised to hear that another trade proposal was recently released, linking Brown with a move away from Boston, and of course, providing the Celtics with a new All-Star to pair with Jayson Tatum.
This latest trade idea is the brainchild of ESPN’S Bobby Marks, and it sees the Philadelphia 76er’s disgruntled point guard head to Boston along with a critical defensive piece, “Simmons and Matisse Thybulle to Boston for Jaylen Brown and Juancho Hernangomez.”
Ok, it’s another Ben Simmons trade, and by now, you’ve already had your fill of these. But, moving beyond that, Matisse Thybulle would be an exceptional addition to the Celtics bench rotation. When paired with Marcus Smart, they would form one of the most defensively versatile backcourts in the NBA.
The only downside to potentially adding Thybulle to the roster, alongside Simmons, is that neither player is known for their shot-making ability. The Washington-born guard is a career 32.3% three-point shooter, and according to Basketball-Reference, he is only hitting 29.3% of his trey ball attempts this season.
Ben Simmons Holding Firm in Desire to Leave Philadelphia
“The best option for the 76ers would be for Simmons to remain on the roster and return to the court by the time the deadline passes, but that is unlikely to happen,” Marks wrote.
What a difference a day makes. Despite Simmons returning to the court being the unequivocal best option for the Sixers, the All-Star guard is rumored to of reiterated his commitment to not playing for the team again in a recent meeting, per ESPN’S Adrian Wojnarowski.
Simmons’ decision to sit out the season until a trade is finalized has severely hurt his stock around the league. Couple that with Daryl Morey’s asking price of an All-Star in return, and the saga looks set to continue for some time yet.
While the Celtics are in dire need of a bona fide ball-handler and playmaker, it’s unlikely they’re willing to move on from Brown to facilitate a deal for Simmons, at least not at the moment.
Brown Is Hitting His Stride
When Tatum missed some games due to COVID in late December, Brown found himself in deep waters and was placed into a “sink or swim” scenario. Unfortunately, during Tatum’s absence, Brown sank, and the Celtics embarked on a losing streak as a result.
Fans and analysts alike were quick to jump on Brown’s struggles as a reason why the Celtics should look to either trade him or find a way of adding a legitimate ball-handler into the rotation.
However, following Brown’s slump, he’s come back like a man possessed, averaging 29.5 points, 4.3 assists, and 8.8 rebounds over his first four games of 2022. If the Georgia native can continue that production level, it would be interesting to see Boston move on from him in a deal for Simmons, notable because they could potentially be strengthening a direct conference rival (which goes both ways.)
It will be interesting to see how Brown continues to develop throughout the rest of the season as both a focal point of the offense and a secondary playmaker alongside Tatum. We will get another look at a full-strength Celtics team on January 12, when they face off against the Indiana Pacers.