Jaylen Brown just went off for 39 points — but the Boston Celtics still lost to an Oklahoma City Thunder team that hadn’t sniffed a victory since March. The Cal product is in the midst of a career season, posting personal bests in points (24.7), field goal percentage (49.3), 3-point percentage (40.1), assists (3.4) and steals (1.3) en route to his first-ever All-Star nod — yet, the team is in danger of earning their worst win/loss record since 2015.
In other words, for all the great Brown has brought to the Cs lineup this season, it hasn’t exactly equated to sustained on-court success for the team. Of course, there are other factors at play here and were you to look at the scenario from another angle you could argue that Brown is one of the only things keeping Boston from completely divebombing into the dwellers of the Eastern Conference.
Some believe Brown is a budding superstar. Others feel he’s a high-end complementary star. Whichever side of the fence you land on when it comes to the 24-year-old, there’s no denying that if he were made available via a trade, he’d garner vast interest from potential suitors. While the assumption around the league has been that the Celtics view Brown as “untouchable,” CLNS Media’s Jeff Goodman believes it’s time for the team to lift that label and start entertaining the idea of moving off their starting wing — especially if it means landing one of the league’s most prominent scorers in return.
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Goodman Calls for Brown-Bradley Beal Swap
It wasn’t so long ago that the Celtics were riding high, notching a win-streak of six games. However, the narrative has quickly changed as the team is coming off their third consecutive defeat and fourth loss over their last five games. With Goodman and his co-host Bob Ryan preparing for “great unhappiness” once the playoffs are over, the NBA analyst believes it’s time for the Cs to mix things up.
“If you’re Danny Ainge, don’t you have to be looking at it right now like, we got to make a move. Evan Fournier probably isn’t enough,” Goodman said on his podcast. “We’ve got to do something to kickstart this because If we bring the same core back next year, what is really going to change?”
With minimal cap space to play with thanks to Jayson Tatum’s max extension kicking in next season and Kemba Walker’s likely unmovable $37.6 million salary for the 2021-22 season, the team will likely have to get creative in making improvements to their roster. This is why Goodman proceeded to bang the table for a Jaylen Brown-Bradley Beal swap.
“I still say they should look at what the market is for Jaylen Brown, I really believe that,” he noted. “Jaylen Brown and Robert Williams and a first-round pick for Bradley Beal — he’s tight with Tatum. That’s the one I would do.”
Goodman Floats Marcus Smart in Trade Talks
Not enough trade capital to entice the Wizards? Goodman upped the ante, asking Ryan “would you do Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart for Bradley Beal?” He then continued, “I know you don’t like it but you got to do something. Don’t you have to do something if your Danny Ainge and shake it up and try something?”
Beal has been readily linked to the Cs in recent months, namely due to his notable relationship with Tatum. The duo played alongside one another in this year’s All-Star Game, and by all accounts would likely be open to doing so on a regular basis. Beal, who is currently the NBA’s leading scorer with 31.4 ppg, remains under contract with Washington through next season before a player option kicks in for the 2022-23 campaign. For what it’s worth, the three-time All-Star has been rather bullish in his commitment to the Wiz. In his own words, he’s “loyal to a fault.”
While an extended tenure of losing in D.C. could potentially alter his firmness on staying put, the team has recently upped their play. Over the month of April, the Wizards own the NBA’s sixth-best record at 10-5 and are currently in the midst of a late-season playoff push.