Conference Rival Could Steal Celtics Star in 2024 Free Agency

Jaylen Brown, Boston Celtics

Getty Jaylen Brown, Boston Celtics

Following their failed pursuit of Kevin Durant, the Boston Celtics will continue their partnership with Jaylen Brown, as the star still has two years remaining on his current contract.

However, after finding himself being thrown into trade discussions for yet another superstar talent, Brown may already be looking at alternative places to call home once his current deal expires in 2024.

Of course, should Boston continue to build on their recent success, it’s highly unlikely that Brown would walk away from the chance to consistently challenge for an NBA championship – but nothing in life is a sure thing.

According to CelticsBlog’s Jack Simone, one team that could surface as a dark horse candidate to persuade Brown to change teams is the Atlanta Hawks, as it would represent a homecoming for the Georgia native.

“Brown’s love for the city of Atlanta has been well documented. The most pertinent example came in 2020 when he drove 15 hours from Boston to Atlanta to lead a peaceful protest in his hometown city. His new Celtics teammate, Malcolm Brogdon, joined him at the protest, as he is also from the area.

Players choosing to sign with their hometown team isn’t a new concept. LeBron James returned to the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2014, and Kawhi Leonard chose to sign with the LA Clippers in 2019,” Simone wrote in his September 8 article.

Of course, there is still another two years until this scenario could become a reality, and anything can happen during that time – including Brown being offered in further trades, or him winning an NBA championship – both of which would clearly sway his decision-making process.

Marcus Smart Breaks Silence on Jaylen Brown Rumors

If there’s another Celtics player that knows what it’s like to be in the rumor mill, it’s Marcus Smart. The veteran point guard has spent his entire career being discussed as a potential throw-in to a trade due to his team-friendly contract and reputation as a born winner.

However, when speaking to CLNS Media’s Bobby Manning on September 4, Smart noted that Brown doesn’t seem to have been affected by the recent media attention and that he understands the NBA is a business.

“He walks around with a smile on his face. We actually haven’t even mentioned it when we were together. We were just talking about the upcoming season and getting ourselves ready, but he’s great. He’s handling it as professionally as he can and my advice is, to anybody, don’t forget it’s a business first. When you’re doing business, personal stuff has to go out the window and can’t be the issue, so you can’t look at it like that,” Smart said.

Brown was in exceptional form last season, averaging 23.6 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 3.5 assists per game while shooting 35.8% from deep and 54.5% from two-point range, so it’s no surprise the Brooklyn Nets viewed him as an ideal centerpiece in a potential deal for Durant.

Smart Urges Brown to Take Trade Talks as a Compliment

During his discussion with Manning, Smart also discussed how he believes seeing your name floated in trade rumors is nothing more than a compliment – as it proves that you’re good enough for another team to covet.

That’s a good thing. The problem is if your name is not (in rumors), nobody wants you. So that’s how I’m looking at it and that’s how people should look at it. It’s tough, I understand it, but just because it’s going on, you never know. Anything can happen,” Smart said.

Hopefully, Smart’s wise words will resonate with Brown, and the Celtics’ star wing will continue to enjoy his tenure in Boston – because that’s the best way to ensure he’s willing to re-sign with the franchise once his current deal expires and he becomes a free agent.

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