‘He won’t forget this’: Are the relations between the Celtics and Jaylen Brown tentative? | News, Scores, Highlights, Stats & Rumors


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When news broke Monday that the Boston Celtics were willing to offer Jaylen Brown to the Brooklyn Nets in a trade for Kevin Durant, it didn’t seem like a good fit for the 25-year-old. His tweet shortly after the reports were published indicated as much.

Brown would have liked to stay with the Celtics, according to Jared Weiss of The Athletic, but how much damage did they do? A number of NBA officials who spoke to Bleacher Report think the Celtics should be worried. Even if the Celtics had made a cursory call — something NBA teams do all the time when a top-flight player like Durant becomes available — league insiders think that flirtation with Durant could easily come back to bite them.


While trade rumors aren’t new for Brown — he’s been mentioned in unsubstantiated trade rumors for Jimmy Butler, Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, Ben Simmons and Anthony Davis — this round of trade talks involving him is different than conversations. past.


Brown is coming off his sixth NBA season, all of which saw the Celtics advance to the playoffs. He was part of three trips to the Eastern Conference Finals or beyond. On his last trip, he and the Celtics advanced to the NBA Finals, pushing the Golden State Warriors to six games.

And Boston just swept the Durant-led Nets in the first round of the playoffs. Brown came out of this series — and the rest of the playoffs — looking like a bona fide star.

“Jaylen won’t let this affect his game, but he won’t forget it either,” an Eastern Conference scout said. “The kind of season he’s had, the team has had…I know it’s a business and he knows it’s a business, but hearing your name in the trade rumors, even if it’s Kevin Durant in the deal, can’t feel good considering how he played against KD and how the Celtics did against the Nets.”

Another league executive said he could understand why Brown having his name mentioned in trade rumors this time around – even for a player like Durant – is a different feeling than previous times he was mentioned as part of the trading block.

“When you give your blood and sweat and tears, as I know, to this team, and you don’t feel like you’re getting the same love, it will definitely make you look different or look twice at your front office and how they do things,” a Western Conference coach said.

Jaylen Brown. (Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)

It’s not unprecedented for a team that came close to winning an NBA title to make dramatic changes the following year. But the Celtics were a different kind of title contender, largely because they’re led by a pair of players 25 or younger.

Brad Stevens, president of Boston basketball operations, was careful to add to the mix on his roster without touching his core group. Earlier in July, the Celtics acquired Malcolm Brogdan via trade from Indiana and signed Danilo Gallinari after clearing waivers, addressing two of their most glaring weaknesses from last season – bench scoring and a perimeter extended.

Still, even though the Celtics have done nothing but throw in a few names to stir up conversation with Brooklyn, they have more to worry about than Brown’s feelings. Their success last season was heavily fueled by the solidarity behind the scenes that kept them strong through turbulent times, of which there were many.

The Celtics have gradually built themselves into a potential title contender for years to come. Due to their youth, the Celtics do not have to make major roster changes to remain an elite NBA team.

A Durant deal would fundamentally change Boston’s core dynamic. A second Eastern Conference scout pointed to the impact Durant would have on Tatum, who has become a top superstar himself.

“Can these two co-exist? said the scout. “Both need the ball in their hands to make an impact. Both are long distance shooters, can put the ball on the ground and score in many ways. But can they play well with each other? I don’t have no idea.”

So why take something that works and try something that might not work?

Because winning an NBA title means taking risks by making deals that are good for many but don’t necessarily create a clear path to a championship.

But that ultimate prize, an NBA title, has to be the end result if you’re the Boston Celtics.

Because anything less than leaving Brown will make this potential Durant deal an absolute disaster.