Sunday evening, Jaylen Brown put forth one of the most outstanding individual performances of his already stellar NBA career, as he guided the Boston Celtics to a monstrous blow-out win over the Spurs.
Without the likes of Jayson Tatum, who was held out of their latest contest with a left hip contusion, the 26-year-old went on to post 41 points, 13 rebounds, 3 assists, and a steal en route to a 137-93 drubbing over San Antonio.
Following the outing, Brown was asked by a reporter how it felt to be “the lone All-Star” on the floor with his co-star sidelined. In response, the wing gave a candid answer, suggesting that being a go-to option is always something he looks forward to.
“It’s great and it’s fun,” Brown said. “It’s a challenge. I get up every day and do my job. Whether they ask me to score, defend, rebound, I’ve always been, since I’ve been here in Boston, I’ve always taken pride in doing what I’ve been asked to do and whatever challenge that’s been I’ve always met that challenge with excitement and a willingness to be a part of a team. When you get the opportunity to be ‘the guy’ that everybody’s kind of leaning on, it’s a privilege [and] it’s an honor. I don’t take those moments for granted.”
Throughout his tenure with Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown has often been referred to as the “1A” option for the Celtics, a moniker he has seemingly detested according to the reporter.
While the seventh-year veteran certainly made a strong case for himself as being an all-out team player with his response, for those who listened to his recent interview with The Ringer’s Logan Murdock and believe his choice words were an insinuation that he could be leaning toward jumping ship once his contract comes to an end in 2024, this could be yet another hint that Brown’s looking to serve as a top dog elsewhere.
Prediction Has Major Impact on Jaylen Brown’s Celtics Future
For those who hope to see Jaylen Brown lock in on a long-term contract with the Celtics for years to come following the expiration of his current deal, Bleacher Report’s latest prediction will leave you feeling giddy.
Recently, writer Dan Favale made the bold claim that he believes the wing will wind up earning a spot on one of the league’s three All-NBA teams. Favale explains that should this happen, it could give Boston the upper hand in locking Brown up on a new multi-year extension.
“Jaylen Brown has a ton of money on the line as we start deliberating All-NBA bids,” Favale wrote. “If he makes one of the three teams, he’ll be eligible to ink a four-year supermax extension worth a hair under $218 million. Merely having the ability to sign that deal would go a long way toward clarifying his future with the Boston Celtics. At the moment, there’s not too much cause to fret over ambiguous comments. Without a first-career All-NBA nod, he can only put pen to paper on an extension that nets him a 120 percent raise. It makes all the financial sense in the world for him to hit free agency in 2024.”
Through 63 games played in 2022-23, Jaylen Brown is posting sensational averages of 27.0 points, 7.0 rebounds, 3.4 assists, and 1.1 steals on 49.4% shooting from the floor.
Hawks Looking to Swipe Jaylen Brown from Celtics?
In the event that Jaylen Brown does eventually jump ship, there’s no doubt that he’ll have many clubs looking to vie for his services, be it via the trade market or during the 2024 free agency period.
While there are several teams that could prove to be a realistic fit for the All-Star, one anonymous league executive informed Heavy Sports’ NBA insider Sean Deveney that the Atlanta Hawks are considered to be a top suitor.
“One reason the Hawks are trying to unload (John) Collins is to get that cap space and be in position to add someone, another star, with Trae,” an Eastern Conference executive told Deveney. “It is not easy to get free agents to Atlanta but Jaylen Brown would be different—they want to be in position, at least, to make a move if he wants to be there. I think there is no question they are watching the situation with him. Closely.”
Brown, a Georgia native, has been linked as a legitimate target for the Hawks for some time now, though, at this point, it’s hard to tell what a hypothetical deal could end up looking like.
One executive would also go on to mention to Deveney that they have Brown “penciled in for sure” regarding his 2024 free agency, though followed said statement up by saying that “probably half the league does” as well.