Jaylen Brown continues to split opinions among Boston Celtics fans and media. One-half of the fan base sees the All-Star wing as a vital building block for Boston’s future championship aspirations, while the other sees him as the key to retooling an uneven roster.
One media member who favors trading Brown is former 2008 NBA Champion Kendrick Perkins, who recently proposed the Memphis Grizzlies as a favorable trade partner should Brown become available.
While Perkins stopped short of postulating potential trade packages, it’s fair to assume he envisions Brown joining forces with Ja Morant on the Grizzlies roster. And while Memphis does have a stock-pile of high-upside young talent to sweeten any deal, Boston would likely expect Jaren Jackson Jr. as part of any return.
However, there’s no telling if Boston would be interested in anything the Grizzlies had to offer outside of Morant, should they ever decide to part ways with Brown.
Perkins Stance on Brown’s Impact in Boston Has Changed
During an interview on the CelticsBlog Podcast on January 29, 2021, Perkins was clear in the team’s ceiling with the star wings leading the charge.
“When I’m watching his game this year, right now offensively, his game has zero flaws. And I mean zero. There’s nothing that he can’t do on the offensive end. When you talk about attacking the basket with force, nice touch around the basket, mid-range – he knows how to get to his spots and elevate over people using his athleticism. Stepping into the trey ball, the three-ball has been phenomenal to watch, and it’s the growth of Jaylen Brown,” Perkins said.
It’s not that Perkins doesn’t believe in Brown’s game anymore, as, on December 11, he tweeted about Boston’s struggles being directly linked to their All-Star wings absence.
So, it would seem that Perkins believes that the current Celtics roster isn’t good enough to compete for a deep playoff run, and their best opportunity of changing that is to trade away one of their most enticing assets.
Brown’s Return From Injury Coincides With Win
Brown, who has missed 14 games so far this season, returned from injury on December 13 against the Milwaukee Bucks. In their previous five games, the Celtics had won just once in a mauling of the Portland Trail Blazers.
After that win, losses to the Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers, and Phoenix Suns, with Boston looking sluggish and uninterested in each of those contests. Yet, upon returning to the team’s starting lineup, Brown notched 19 points off 6-of-13 shooting from the field while also converting 42.9% of his three-point shot attempts, per Basketball-Reference.
It’s no coincidence that the Celtics looked like a deep playoff candidate once their two-star players were back sharing the floor, which should give Brad Stevens food for thought regarding any potential deal to split up Tatum and Brown.
A more likely option is that the Celtics look to make moves around the margins, most likely looking to move on from some of their younger talent or short-term veterans such as Dennis Schroder.
Most players in the NBA are eligible to be traded from December 15, which means trade season unofficially begins within the next few hours. But for the Celtics, their focus should be on the Golden State Warriors, who they face on Friday, December 17.