For now, the Boston Celtics are done with trade rumors. The Kevin Durant saga has officially ended, as it’s been announced that the superstar will be returning to the Brooklyn Nets for next season. But that doesn’t mean there won’t be lasting effects.
Jaylen Brown heard his name thrown in reports over and over again. Now, he’s a professional, so he knows when to buy into reports and when not to, but it’s unlikely that he’ll forget this summer. It probably won’t affect his future in Boston, but you never know.
Recently, Sean Deveney of Heavy.com spoke to NBA executives around the league about teams that could try to pry Brown away from the Celtics next summer. One of the teams that was mentioned was the Atlanta Hawks – Brown’s hometown team.
“They’ve been after more two-way players in recent years, because signing up a few big names around Trae Young has not worked out. We’ll have to see what they do with (De’Andre) Hunter and (Onyeka) Okongwu because they will need extensions but if they can clear out the room, that’s probably the biggest team to worry the Celtics,” an Eastern Conference executive told Deveney.
Atlanta could be a serious threat to steal Brown.
Deveney: ‘A Proud Atlanta Native’
It’s not uncommon for players to want to play for the city that they’re from. Look at Kawhi Leonard a few years back or… his teammate Paul George. If Brown has that same idea, then it’s not hard to imagine that he could have an interest in the Hawks.
“It’s no secret that Brown is a proud Atlanta native, and drove back to the city to help lead protests during the post-George Floyd marches in the late spring of 2020. When he was on the verge of becoming a restricted free agent in 2019, the Hawks were primed to lure him back home. His commitment to Boston as a community has long been strong, and as a city, Atlanta might be the only place higher on his list,” Deveney wrote.
Brown loves giving back to the community, and getting the chance to do that for his hometown city more often could be too good to pass up. As Deveney noted, it may be the only other city he wants to help more than Boston at this point.
As far as financial complications, the Hawks would have to clear some salary if they wanted to make a run at Brown.
Deveney: ‘They’re Not Far Off’
With the way things stand, the Hawks wouldn’t have enough money to sign Brown next summer. However, they could clear their books in just a couple of moves.
“The Hawks would somehow have to shed Clint Capela’s deal ($22.7 million in 2024-25) or, maybe, pull off a move of John Collins to have space for a max contract, but they’re not far off from being in position to make a run at Brown,” Deveney explained.
Right now, it looks like Brown is ready for the upcoming season with the Celtics, but as far as next season goes, anything is possible.