Jaylen Brown opposes the notion that he and Jayson Tatum can’t co-exist.
“I disagree. I think we can play together,” Brown told reporters following his first career triple-double in the Celtics‘ 99-75 victory over the Knicks on January 8. “We have played together well for the majority of our career and things like that. The last year or so hasn’t gone as expected, but I think a lot of the adversity that we’re kind of going through now is just going to help us grow and get better in the future.”
Yet, no matter how much the two current franchise pillars try and make things work, the jury is still very much out on whether the All-Star pairing can truly take Boston over the edge. With the Cs in the midst of yet another frustrating season and sitting at 10th-place in the Eastern Conference, some would argue the answer to that question is a resounding “no.”
Of course, Brown has been no stranger to trade chatter in recent months. With Tatum as untouchable as any star across the league, Brown is without a doubt Boston’s best bait to overhaul their roster on the fly. One deal in particular that has been readily floated is a trade that would flip Brown for disgruntled Sixers guard Ben Simmons. Chatter of a potential deal including both stars will undoubtedly persist until either one or both are traded. The good news, Bleacher Report’s Dan Favale may have stumbled on a package to do just that — even though, at the end of it, neither would be a member of the Celtics.
B/R’s 3-Team Proposal Deals Brown, Sends De’Aaron Fox to Boston
Using both Brown and Simmons as trade chips, the NBA analyst fired up a three-team blockbuster that would drape De’Aaron Fox in green and white. Here’s how the monster proposal shapes up, per Favale:
- Boston Celtics Receive:
- Terence Davis
- De’Aaron Fox
- Philadelphia’s 2022 first-round pick (top-five protection)
- 2024 first-round swap (via Philadelphia)
- Philadelphia 76ers Receive:
- Jaylen Brown
- Juan Hernangomez
- Sacramento Kings Receive:
- Ben Simmons
- Jaden Springer
- 2023 first-round swap (via Philadelphia)
Disclaimer: Yours truly does not think the Celtics should trade Brown. But the sentiment itself also isn’t egregious given how much Boston needs to revamp its offense. Fox can help. He isn’t the quintessential floor general, but his playmaking exceeds that from Brown, and he maintains the higher ceiling as a self-creator. He should not torpedo the Celtics defense even after they surrender Brown, and they get two additional assets in Davis and a first-rounder, plus a swap they could theoretically use. They can also leave Davis in Sacramento in favor of almost getting out of the tax.
Sacramento needs to do something—anything. Damning itself to a treadmill of sub-mediocrity is inexcusable…
Figuring out the peripheral compensation induces migraines. Brown is the best player in this deal, so extra assets should be coming out of Philly. Maybe they’re divvied up differently among Boston and Sacramento, but this general framework sure seems like a conversation starter—insofar as the Celtics haven’t designated Brown off-limits.
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Kings Open to Dealing Fox?
While Fox had his struggles out the gate this season, he’s since picked up his production tenfold. Over his last four games, the former Kentucky standout has averaged 28.5 points, 5.8 assists and 4.5 rebounds — including back-to-back-to-back 30-point outings. His 3-point shooting is still a mess (24.8%), but at just 24 years old and a history of being a borderline All-Star talent, he’d present the type of upside that has been vacant in Boston’s backcourt for quite some time.
Despite handing Fox a five-year, $163 million contract just over a year ago, the Kings appear at least willing to entertain the idea of moving off their starting point guard. On December 17, ESPN’s Tim MacMahon joined the “Brian Windhorst & The Hoop Collective” podcast where he claimed to be hearing “a lot of smoke” regarding Sacramento’s openness to dealing Fox. The organization has used lottery picks in back-to-back drafts on guards (Tyrese Haliburton and Davion Mitchell), creating a logjam in the backcourt for a team that — like the Celtics — sit at 10th-place in their conference.