Following his first All-NBA selection as a result of superb efforts during the 2022-23 campaign, Jaylen Brown is now eligible to sign a supermax contract extension with the Boston Celtics. However, some seem to be under the impression that Brad Stevens and company may want to re-think committing a whopping total of $295 million to the 26-year-old.
Should the C’s front office wind up hesitating, Bleacher Report’s Andy Bailey believes that the Houston Rockets should consider a pursuit of Brown as being their top task this summer, with an ultimate goal of formulating a new dynamic duo between him and former Space City superstar, James Harden.
“Landing both of Brown and Harden would be tricky, to say the least. But the long-rumored reunion between Houston and James Harden may not have much validity without a competitive roster for Harden to lead. If he knows a Brown trade would be on the heels of his signing there, he might be more willing to come back. And if the Rockets entered 2023-24 with Harden, Brown and one or two members of the current young core, Udoka could have the team competing for a playoff spot as soon as next year,” Bailey wrote.
The wing has been linked as a potential target for Houston since back when Rockets insider John Granato reported in late March that he got word people will “hear a lot of noise about Jaylen Brown” being eyed as an option for the franchise this coming offseason.
Bailey seems to be of the belief that things could, and frankly should pick up steam during the coming months, and that GM Rafael Stone should have a plan to unite the Celtics star and the Philadelphia 76ers star high up on his “offseason to-do list.”
Celtics Urged to Trade Jaylen Brown
Whether he lands with the Houston Rockets or not, B/R’s Andy Baily is strongly pushing the idea that the Celtics should look to trade Jaylen Brown this summer, as he listed such a task right at the top of their own offseason to-do list.
“Because he just made All-NBA, Jaylen Brown is eligible for a gargantuan five-year, $285.6 million extension. Jayson Tatum is almost certainly going to be one year behind with a similarly jaw-dropping deal. And under the new collective bargaining agreement, which essentially introduces a hard cap in the form of its new “second apron,” having two such contracts on the books is going to be incredibly onerous. You darn-near have to be sure you can win a title with those two guys. And while the Boston Celtics can maybe talk themselves into that, the prospect of turning Brown into more than one role player or some future assets should be on the table,” Bailey wrote.
Despite the fact that he and fellow All-Star teammate Jayson Tatum have guided the Celtics to six-straight postseason appearances, four of which have led to Eastern Conference Finals runs and one to an NBA Finals berth throughout their tenure together, Bailey seems to believe that the wing tandem has run it’s course and a proper way to move on would be to trade Jaylen Brown.
Through 67 games played in 2022-23, the seventh-year veteran went on to post career-best numbers virtually all across the board, boasting averages of 26.6 points, 6.9 rebounds, and 3.5 assists on 49.1% shooting from the field.
Will Barton Tabbed as Free Agent Target for Boston Celtics
In the event that Boston doesn’t wind up splitting up Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown this summer and, in turn, look to further bolster the roster around them, Bleacher Report’s Zach Buckley suggests the Celtics “need a player like” Will Barton.
Citing their lacking wing depth and a demand for proven offensive creators off the pine, Buckley suggests that despite his struggles throughout this past season where he posted just 6.8 points and 2.0 assists on 37.9% from the field, there’s a chance the veteran could wind up becoming a “steal” of a signing should his shortcomings during the 2022-23 campaign be a mere outlier.
His production during the previous seven seasons, particularly in 2021-22 where he posted 14.7 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 3.9 assists on 36.5% shooting from distance, shows that his style of play would mesh quite well within Joe Mazzulla‘s rotation should he be able to tap back into this level.
Of course, as Buckley suggests, in the event that the Celtics sign Will Barton, the hope would be that there still could be some gas left in veteran’s proverbial tank