Celtics in Trade Talks for 3-Time All-Star; Jaylen Brown Linked: Report

Jaylen Brown not too happy with his body after return from injury

Getty Boston Celtics All-Star Jaylen Brown.

The Boston Celtics have reportedly engaged in conversations with the Philadelphia 76ers in hopes of bolstering their point guard position. Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium has reported that the C’s have “expressed interest” in potentially acquiring disgruntled All-Star Ben Simmons in a trade. The caveat here is that should Boston strike a deal with Philly, it’s expected that rising star Jaylen Brown would be required by the Sixers as compensation.

“Any potential Simmons deal with the Celtics would have to include All-Star forward Jaylen Brown,” wrote Charania, who also noted that between both clubs have been “fluid” with “no traction as of yet.” Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald has since refuted these reports, claiming that the Celtics discussing a trade with Philadelphia is “untrue.”

Boston is off to a rather disappointing 4-6 start under first-year head coach Ime Udoka. Yet, they’ve rallied off two victories over their last three contests including a 95-78 beatdown of the second-place Miami Heat. After a Jekyll and Hyde start to the 2021-22 season, Brown has hit his stride — or at least he had. Brown was riding a three-game tear where he was averaging 30.0 points per contest before exiting the Heat game early with a hamstring injury. Via NBC Sports Boston’s Chris Forsberg, Brown’s latest lower-body injury could sideline him for several weeks as the Celtics plan to take things cautiously with their standout wing:

A first-time All-Star a season ago, Brown is in the midst of yet another career campaign. Averaging 25.6 points, 6.1 rebounds and 2.5 assists, the 25-year-old wing is proving he’s yet to reach his ceiling and is still very much a rising talent.

More to come…

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Boston Could Use PG Help, But at What Cost? 

Well, if that cost is Brown, you can likely count out the majority of Celtics nation — and likely the Celtics organization.

There’s no denying Marcus Smart is proving to be a bit in over his head as the team’s lead guard thus far this season. After flashing an improved offensive skillset a season ago, the Oklahoma State product’s production has plummeted as the team’s starting point guard this year. In nine games, Smart is averaging just 8.6 points on 31.2% shooting from the field (28.3% 3-point percentage) with 4.0 assists and 3.4 rebounds. Add in his public call out of Brown and Jayson Tatum as well as his late-game gaffe against the Mavs and patience could be running thin in the Celtics’ building with their former No. 6 overall pick.

Dennis Schroder’s statistical output is currently trumping that of Smart’s. Coming off a 20-point outing against Dallas, the former runner-up in the Sixth Man of the Year voting remains a spark plug of energy. He’s also decreased his turnovers by 0.7 per game and is currently pacing all Celtics players in assists with an average of 6.0 per contest. Yet, while he’s gotten run with the starters of late, he’s historically played his best basketball coming off the bench.

Simmons Outlook for Celtics

For all his flaws, Simmons would undoubtedly be an upgrade at the position, and even more importantly, a fit. At 25 years old, he aligns with Boston’s perceived championship timetable as Tatum is still just 23 years of age.

The thing is, Simmons’ pass-first play would appear to be ideal for Boston’s offense around the likes of Tatum and Brown, not instead of Brown. Swapping Brown for Simmons would likely put one of the league’s most skilled distributors in a position to shoulder too much of the scoring load — and we all saw how that worked out in Philadelphia.

Whispers doubting Tatum and Brown’s ability to play alongside one another likely aren’t going away anytime soon. The Celtics have long been resistant to trading Brown in the past, even scoffing at the idea of acquiring James Harden in return. With the question marks surrounding Simmons and his average salary checking in greater than that of Brown’s, it’s hard to envision Boston actually pulling the trigger.


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