By all accounts, the Boston Celtics don’t want to trade Jaylen Brown. Nor should they. Yes, we’ve heard all the chatter regarding the thought that the two Jays can’t play together. Yes, the team is essentially a .500 club since the start of 2020. However, if Brad Stevens has an eye on building a legitimate title contender in Beantown, the idea of parting ways with a 25-year-old All-Star seems fairly counterintuitive.
With all that said, the prospect of unloading Brown at the trade deadline to yield a plethora of players for the Cs in return does have its merits — on the surface. Such a move, similar to the “dream” proposal Grant Hughes of Bleacher Report mustered up, would allow Boston to spread added talent across the entirety of their roster. However, that begs the question, does quantity outweigh quality? Well, that’s up for debate.
B/R Proposal Sees Brown Returning to His Hometown
With the deadline under two weeks away and the Celtics believed to be open for business, Hughes proposes Stevens cut bait with Brown by shipping the Georgia native to the Atlanta Hawks. In return, Boston would acquire multiple future first-round picks and three players, including former No. 4 overall pick De’Andre Hunter. Here’s how the entire B/R proposal shapes up:
- Atlanta Hawks Receive:
- Jaylen Brown
- Boston Celtics Receive:
- De’Andre Hunter
- Kevin Huerter
- Bogdan Bogdanovic
- 2022 first-round pick (via Charlotte Hornets)
- 2023 first-round pick
The Hawks will have to pull off quite a sell job to convince Boston that this package is enough to pry loose an All-Star. It helps that Hunter has shown flashes of being a high-end starter when healthy and that Huerter is the kind of facilitating wing who could get the ball moving in the Celtics’ sticky offense. If I’m Boston, I want at least one more first-rounder and a discussion about including Onyeka Okongwu instead of Huerter, who comes with a poison-pill provision in his contract.
It’s also true that the Celtics are a smidge over the tax line with their current roster, and they’d have to trim money elsewhere to make this work while staying below the threshold. Dumping Dennis Schroder for picks or paying someone to take Bruno Fernando would be a solid start on that front.
Thanks, But No Thanks
While Hughes notes this hypothetical deal is among a shortlist of “trade deadline deals to dream about,” he’s undoubtedly looking at it through the lens of a Hawks fan.
From a Celtics perspective, all the pieces included would theoretically help fill a void for Boston. Bogdanovic is a player the team was readily linked to at last year’s trade deadline. Just one season removed from drilling 43.8% of his 3-point attempts, the Serbian wing would undoubtedly serve as an upgrade for a Celtics team who’s currently shooting at the ninth-worst rate in basketball from beyond the arc (34.1%).
Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer reported on January 27 that the Celtics had already engaged in trade discussion surrounding Hurter. However, those talks also included Cam Reddish, who has since been dealt to New York.
Hunter, 24, is arguably the most tantalizing potential addition of the bunch. In 2020-21, the Virginia product averaged 15.0 points per game. Since returning to the Hawks lineup on January 14 following wrist surgery, he’s appeared in 10 games, scoring at least 17 points in half of them.
Still, none of these players are solidified stars. Or, in Hunter’s case, a likely sure thing to one day become one — specifically when compared to the player that Brown has blossomed into.
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