Jaylen Brown is untouchable… right? The Boston Celtics wing is coming off the most prolific season of his NBA tenure, posting career highs in points (24.7), field-goal percentage (48.4%) and assists (3.4) en route to his first, but almost certainly not his last All-Star berth.
At just 24 years old and under contract through 2024 on a deal that looks more team-friendly by the day, Brown looks like the ideal running mate to team up with franchise cornerstone Jayson Tatum for years to come. The Celtics would seemingly agree, as co-owner Wyc Grousbeck recently insinuated to 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Felger & Mazz that he’d love for both the Jays to remain Celtics for life. However, Sports Illustrated’s Chris Mannix believes such a chain of thinking would likely change were the Cs gifted with the opportunity to get their hands on one of two specific superstars.
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Mannix: Cs ‘Have to Look Long & Hard About Trading Jaylen Brown’
“There are a couple of players out there that I think the Celtics would move for Jaylen Brown,” Mannix said on NBC Sports Boston’s Early Edition. “One would be Bradley Beal, who has to make a decision of his own the next couple weeks if he wants to sign that extension with Washington. If he doesn’t, that’s tantamount to a trade request and he can become available. And we all know at this point about the relationship between Bradley Beal and Jayson Tatum.”
Of course, this isn’t the first time Beal has been floated as a potential trade target for the Celtics. Nor is this the first time Mannix himself has linked the NBA’s second-leading scorer to the Celtics. Recently, the NBA insider joined The Colin Cowherd Podcast where he deemed Boston a “player” to acquire Beal and a favorite alongside the Philadelphia 76ers as likely landing spots for the 28-year-old.
As for the other player that Mannix expects to entice the Celtics to the extent of seriously considering trading Brown — well, chances are you could likely guess who it is.
“The other is Damian Lillard. It’s still very much up in the air, Lillard’s future in Portland,” Mannix noted. “If in the coming weeks the Blazers decide that they have to trade Damian Lillard, I think Boston would be in a pretty good position to make a strong offer that would have to include Jaylen Brown. So, you don’t just move him to shake things up, but if one of those two players becomes available I think you have to look long and hard about trading Jaylen Brown.”
Grousbeck: ‘There’s a Lot of Potential Trades’
Referring back to Grousbeck’s interview with Felger & Mazz, the Celtics co-owner sounded like a man gearing up for both Brown and Tatum to be in Beantown for the long haul, claiming “It’s because of who’s on the team right now and probably led by those two, Jayson and Jaylen. We’ll see how this goes, but we’re building for the future. We could have a good long run of being a good team with these young guys and now this new coach, so I’m really hopeful.”
While dealing Brown remains unlikely, barring a legitimate superstar such as Beal or Lillard demanding out of their current situations, you can never say never. This is especially true for a team that looks primed to be wheeling and dealing this offseason.
“There’s a lot we have to go do,” Grousbeck’s said. “There’s a lot of potential trades I would imagine, just reading the wires and thinking a little bit and talking a little bit to Brad [Stevens]. There’s a lot of stuff that could happen this summer.”
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