Celtics Pressured to Trade Jaylen Brown for ‘Superstar-Caliber Sniper’

Jaylen Brown, Boston Celtics

Getty Jaylen Brown of the Boston Celtics dribbles against the Philadelphia 76ers.

Throughout the partnership of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, the Boston Celtics have managed to come across a substantial amount of success. With four Eastern Conference Finals runs and an NBA Finals appearance under their belt, it’s safe to say that the C’s boast perhaps the best dynamic duo in the entire league.

However, considering their recent Game 7 loss in round three to the Miami Heat coupled with upcoming contract negotiations that could inflate the club’s payroll exponentially, some think it may be time to split up the Jays, and ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith believes that, should Jaylen Brown threaten a trade ultimatum, the All-Star should be dealt for Damian Lillard.

“There’s a guy by the name of Damian Lillard in Portland, I wouldn’t mind getting someone like him who’s a closer by the way, who’s a point guard as a closer, who’s a sniper. We got all of that stuff going for ourselves if you’re Damian Lillard. Obviously, he’s older than Jaylen Brown but [for] Jaylen Brown I think the real challenge is that he has aspirations to be that number one guy and that is never going to happen with Jayson Tatum… If he feels adamant that [he can’t serve as a 1A next to Tatum] and he needs to move on then you need to think about an abundance of parts that you can get potentially for Jaylen Brown because he is a star in this league and he is young. Either you get an abundance of players, which I don’t think is necessary, or you get a superstar-caliber sniper like Damian Lillard to come to Boston in return for his services If I’m the Boston Celtics, I’m looking at something along those lines,” Stephen A. Smith said.

Executing such a trade would see the Celtics add a top-flight point guard to pair with Tatum and would see the franchise avoid coughing up an annual salary of $59 million a year to the extension-eligible Jaylen Brown, which, as pointed out by Smith, is more than what the seven-time All-Star Lillard (average salary of $44 million) is making.

Celtics Could Push for ‘Different’ Portland Trade

With or without Damian Lillard heading to Boston a trade with the Trail Blazers could still be viewed as a viable option for Brad Stevens and company, as The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor recently proposed a trade that would send Jaylen Brown to Portland in exchange for a couple of long-term, cost-efficient assets.

“The Celtics should also consider a different foundation for a Portland trade: Brown to the Blazers for Anfernee Simons and the no. 3 pick,” O’Connor suggested. “Simons is less of a playmaker than Lillard, but he was a super-efficient borderline-30-point-per-game scorer when he ran the show in games that Lillard missed this season. Simons is also more of a passer than Brown. Boston could also use that third pick in a separate trade or keep it to select a young playmaker such as the G League’s Scoot Henderson or Overtime Elite’s Amen or Ausar Thompson.”

Not only would such a move have the ability to benefit the Celtics, as O’Connor suggests, but it would simultaneously adhere to Lillard’s desires to see the Blazers re-tool the roster around him rather than embark on a youth movement.

Jaylen Brown is also a name that has been rumored to be on the superstar guard’s “list” of players he’d like to possibly team up with.

JJ Reddick Questions if Jaylen Brown is Worth Max Extension

After seven seasons in the association and coming off of perhaps his best one yet, it’s undeniable that Jaylen Brown is one of the top players in the game today.

That said, even with this, former NBA sharpshooter and current ESPN personality JJ Reddick finds himself questioning if the 26-year-old is worthy of a max contract offer from the Celtics this summer.

“I think Jaylen Brown is also a great player,” Redick said. “All-NBA, all that stuff. The question is, are you comfortable with the new CBA paying two players $600 million over the course of their contracts? Are you comfortable in two years if you keep this group together, essentially being hamstrung to make transactions because they’re at the second apron with the new CBA?”

As noted, Jaylen Brown is coming off of perhaps his best season as a pro, as he posted stellar averages of 26.6 points, 6.9 rebounds, and 3.5 assists on 49.1% shooting from the field. With his efforts, he earned himself his second All-Star nod and his first All-NBA selection

However, after his lowly showing during a do-or-die Game 7 for the Celtics earlier in the week where he posted 19 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists, and 8 turnovers on 34.8% shooting, it seems as though serious questions about his worthiness of receiving a lucrative payday are now arising.

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