The Boston Celtics have maneuvered through the summer with one eye on the future — mainly in hopes of finding an eventual third wheel to support their All-Star duo of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. However, in Bleacher Report’s latest trade proposal, the Celtics aren’t the ones buffing out their roster. Nope, instead, they are helping create a pseudo superteam for an opposition, all while taking a major chunk out of their core.
Grant Hughes goes against our plea to make Brown untouchable as the B/R columnist proposes the Celtics unload the budding star, along with rising point guard Payton Pritchard and a handful of future second-round picks in a monster four-team blockbuster.
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Full Breakdown of 4-Team Proposal
In return for moving off Brown and Pritchard, Boston comes away with long-rumored target CJ McCollum, as well as a bevy of future draft capital — including a floated first-round selection. Here’s how the proposal shapes up from the C’s perspective:
- Receive: CJ McCollum, future second-round pick (via Pacers), future second-round pick (via Pelicans)
- Lose: Jaylen Brown, Payton Pritchard, two future second-round picks
“The Celtics might need that aforementioned extra first for parting with a player as valuable as Brown, but McCollum would address a backcourt creation need more substantially than bargain signing Dennis Schroder,” wrote Hughes. “He could take the playmaking load off Jayson Tatum in ways Brown, for all his versatile skills, can’t.”
Here’s a look at the entirety of the proposal including the Blazers’ hefty haul that has Hughes dubbing them the “purported superteam”:
- Trail Blazers Receive:
- Jaylen Brown, Myles Turner, Garrett Temple, Torrey Craig
- Pacers Receive:
- Brandon Ingram, Robert Covington, Payton Pritchard, future second-round pick (via Celtics)
- Pelicans Receive:
- Malcolm Brogdon, Anfernee Simons, 2022 first-round pick (via Pacers), 2024 first-round pick (via Trail Blazers), future second-round pick (via Celtics)
Thanks, But No Thanks
McCollum would by no means be a bad get for the Celtics, especially if he were to be joining forces with Brown and Tatum in Beantown. However, should Brad Stevens for whatever reason choose to unload Brown for McCollum, it’s fair to say the Celtics would be getting the short end of the stick. Again, no disrespect to the Blazers star, who has averaged 20.8-plus points per game in each of the past six seasons, but the fact of the matter is, age, salary and upside all point towards Brown being the preferred player here.
For starters, Brown is six years the junior of the 30-year-old McCollum. The Celtics may be willing to stomach a five-plus year age gap for, say, McCollum’s teammate Damian Lillard, whose superstar talent could theoretically supersede long-term outlook. However, chances are Boston would likely be reluctant to sabotage their future for a player a notch or two below Lillard’s skill level.
In terms of pay, both McCollum and Brown are on the books through the 2023-24 season. Yet, McCollum’s annual pay comes in $6.8 million north of Brown’s $26.5 million average salary.
Furthermore, while McCollum may be able to stomach more of a ball-handling role than Brown at the moment, it’s not as if Brown isn’t a viable distributor. The Cal product has upped his assist average in each of the past two seasons and is coming off a career-high 3.4 dimes in 2020-21. Speaking of career-highs, Brown’s 24.7 points, 48.4% field-goal percentage and 39.7 3-point percentage last season all marked personal bests for the ever-improving wing.
That argument alone makes this deal fairly less enticing from Boston’s perspective and we haven’t even delved into the idea of moving off of Pritchard, a young guard who has flashed potential starter/high-end sixth-man traits over his young NBA career.