Brad Stevens hasn’t been shy to swing a trade or two during his inaugural season as the president of basketball operations for the Boston Celtics. Al Horford, Josh Richardson and Bruno Fernando were all acquired via trades this past summer. Juancho Hernangómez, a player who the Cs originally landed in a trade with the Memphis Grizzlies back in September, was just flipped for Bol Bol in a three-team deal on January 19.
So, when rumors claim that Boston is open for business ahead of the February 10 trade deadline, it likely shouldn’t be taken with a grain of salt. However, does that assumption also hold weight on the opposite end of the spectrum when the team says they have no plans to move Jaylen Brown? My answer? A resounding yes. While the two Jays clearly need to show more consistency playing alongside one another, it’s simply too early to consider giving up on a player of Brown’s talent. Especially at just 25 years of age.
With that said, Sports Illustrated’s Dalton Trigg feels as if the prospect of adding a budding point guard and a former All-Star big to the mix could entice Stevens enough to potentially pry Brown away from Boston.
SI’s Trade Proposal Unloads Brown & Dennis Schroder
While Brown’s availability on the trade market may be limited, Dennis Schroder’s almost certainly is not. The 28-year-old guard is arguably one of the most likely players across the league to change zip codes this trade season. Could that zip code be 75219? Trigg proposes the Celtics package both players in a deal with the Dallas Mavericks to secure the services of Kristaps Porzingis, Jalen Brunson and a handful of draft picks. Here’s how the entirety of the hypothetical SI trade shapes up:
- Boston Celtics receive:
- Jalen Brunson
- Kristaps Porzingis
- two second-round picks
- Dallas Mavericks receive:
- Jaylen Brown
- Dennis Schroder
Although Brunson isn’t quite on the same tier as Brown is yet, the argument could be made that he can reach that tier if given the opportunity to be the primary point guard on another team… Depending on how highly you think of Brown, you might thing the Mavs would need to include more draft compensation to make a trade like this work, and that might be right. But Jalen Brunson has become so valuable to this Mavericks’ team this year, that giving up him, Porzingis plus a first round pick or two might actually be a little too much at this point. And again, Porzingis is having a really solid, All-Star consideration type of season. The idea of this particular trade scenario isn’t nearly as lopsided as it would have looked last summer or earlier.
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Brunson Seeking Major Payday
Taking aside the fact that Brunson and Porzingis wouldn’t necessarily move the needle for Boston in a way that Brown could — and has (in the past) — playing alongside Tatum, should the Celtics entertain this deal, they’d be doing so under the precursor that they’d need to commit to Brunson financially.
In the midst of a contract season, Brunson is enjoying a career campaign, averaging personal bests in both points (15.9) and assists (5.5). He’s also just one season removed from knocking down 40.5% of his shots from beyond the arc. That type of production, at 25 years old, is bound to get you paid. And if Brunson has his way, it’ll pay him in the range of $20 million a year.
On January 17, Bleacher Report’s Eric Pincus reported that “the guard is believed by many to be seeking near a four-year, $80 million contract. That is a large number, especially for a player that several competing executives think is too big of a target defensively in the playoffs.”
As for Porzingis, he’s clearly a player the Celtics organization has been intrigued by in the past. Although, as Trigg notes, that was with Danny Ainge calling the shots. Even while shooting only 29.0% from 3-point range, Porzingis is still putting up very solid numbers this season, averaging 20.1 points and 8.0 rebounds per game.
In reality, each player Boston would receive in this haul makes sense from a personnel standpoint. The Athletic’s Jared Weiss reported on January 19 that the Celtics are probing the trade market in hopes of adding another center. Plus, as we all know, guard play has been readily brought into question for the Cs this season with Marcus Smart running the show.
However, when it comes down to it, this feels a bit too one-sided to pique Stevens’ interest — at least this season. But in case he was to pick up the phone, the Mavs would almost certainly jump at the opportunity to team up Luka Doncic with an All-Star, two-way wing such as Brown.