Emerging Big Man ‘High on List’ of Celtics’ Targets in Jaylen Brown Trade

Jaylen Brown, Boston Celtics

Getty Jaylen Brown, Boston Celtics

With the Boston Celtics looking ahead to the offseason, there has been a lot of discussion in the media surrounding the future of Jaylen Brown.

The All-Star wing is entering the last year of his current contract and is eligible for a ‘supermax’ contract extension worth approximately $295 million over five years. However, not everybody believes paying Brown such a heft sum is in the team’s best interest, which has led to multiple trade rumors in the days since the Celtics were eliminated from the Eastern Conference Finals.

According to The Atheltic’s Jared Weiss, one player who could potentially be on the Celtics’ list of potential trade targets is Utah Jazz forward Lauri Markkanen. After the 26-year-old had an impressive breakout season under Will Hardy.

“If they were to trade Brown, Utah has a star in Markkanen that fits Boston’s timeline and needs, plus plenty of role players and picks to throw in,” Weiss wrote. “Markkanen was performing on a similar level to Brown this year, but he was the primary option on a less competitive team, and this was his first season at this level…Of all the potential stars Boston could bring in for Brown, Markkanen is high up the list.”

In 66 regular-season games, Markkanen averaged 25.6 points, 8.6 rebounds, and 1.9 assists per game while shooting 49.9% from the field and 39.1% from deep, earning the first All-Star selection of his career as a result.

Damian Lillard Prefers to Join Miami

Recently, the notion of trading Brown for Portland Trail Blazers star guard Damian Lillard has been doing the rounds. Yet, on June 7, a video from a recent appearance on ‘The Last Stand’ with Brian Cluster made its way around social media, where Lillard notes how his preferred destination would be the Miami Heat – should he decide to finally leave Portland.

“Miami, obviously,” Lillard said. “Miami is the obvious one, and Bam [Adebayo] is my dog. Bam is my dog, for real…Brooklyn is another obvious one because Mikal Bridges is my dog too. Both have capable rosters.”

Given Lillard’s age (32) and high salary over the next four years, it would make little sense for the Celtics to acquire the star guard, especially if they’re trying to avoid the second tax apron once the new Collective Bargaining Agreement becomes active in the summer of 2024.

Celtics Want to Keep Jaylen Brown

According to an Eastern Conference GM, who spoke with Heavy on Sports’ Steve Bulpett under the condition of anonymity, the common consensus around the NBA is that the Celtics want to keep Brown around long-term.

“From everything I’ve heard and I know, Boston wants Brown,” the GM said. “They see him as a big part of their future. But if things get messed up there — major injuries or things like that — you have to have the ability to make trades…Bottom line: you don’t let talent walk or get devalued.”

As such, it should come as no surprise if Boston extends Brown a supermax contract extension over the summer as they look to keep their core rotation intact and continue building toward an NBA championship.