Outside of the Celtics organization, it’s easy to see why Brad Stevens called Sean Marks with the Nets and talked about a form of Kevin Durant’s trade. It’s Kevin “Freakin” Durant – MVP, two-time Finals MVP, and one of the greatest scorers of all time. Put him next to Jason Tatum with strong players around and the Celtics become the favorites for the title. On the outside, if you’re a Celtics then of course you can explore the trade and of course Jaylen Brown is the cornerstone of any deal. We’re talking about KD, who even at 34 is one of the top three players in the world (when he’s healthy). That may be less than selling it.
Within the Celtics organization, it is not easy to make a call. There are potential consequences.
– Jaylene Brown (@FCHWPO) 25 July 2022
Brown has been loyal to the Celtics but has heard before that his name appears in trade talks – always for elite players like Kowhi Leonard or Anthony Davis, but his name still appears. However, that doesn’t mean Brown wants to get out of Boston. Quite the opposite, says Jared Weiss of The Athletic.
Despite all the hiccups in Brown’s relationship with his fan base, he’s still committed to Boston. When WEEI’s Jermaine Wiggins claimed Brown told him he would not sign again in Boston when his contract expires in 2024, Brown was baffled and denied the report behind closed doors, sources familiar with Brown’s thinking told The Athletic. Despite business talks, Brown wants to be in Boston.
Last June’s trip to the finals felt like Brown and Tatum – and the rest of the Celtics youth team – figured it out and started to peak. It’s been a rollercoaster until this point but for Celtics fans throughout the journey, it finally felt like the years of emotional investment were paying off.
And then this shot came back to reality – the NBA is always a business first.
Which leaves Stevens, Amy Odoka and the Celtics management to make sure that rumor doesn’t break their relationship with Brown, who could be a free agent in a couple of years. This trade most likely did not occur, as Weiss points out in The Athletic.
In the wake of [Shams] Al-Sharaniah report, several sources in the league spoke to him the athlete We believe the Nets are looking to lead the market and avoid controversy in Durant not attending training camp.
Should the Celtics go all-in on a Durant deal?
Brown being a free agent in 2024 is a major decision point for this question. To get logistical things out of the way, Brown won’t sign a contract extension with the Celtics before then because he’s in a deal that changed the cap now and CBA rules limit how much extension the Celtics can give him from his current stream. Deal. Put simply: Brown would have made more than $7 million in his first season alone by becoming a free agent and re-signing in Boston than he could through an extension, and those additional earnings accumulate with future increases throughout the decade. (The exception is if Brown creates an All-NBA team, extension rules will change and Boston can make a maximum deal.)
Despite some reports to the contrary, sources in the league NBC Sports have expected Brown to re-sign in Boston in 2024, but added that everyone will be watching because two years is a long time and things could change. Especially if a player’s name keeps coming up in business conversations and he doesn’t feel wanted.
With Brown and Tatum, the Celtics’ championship window could span at least five years and possibly even years longer. With Durant at 34, even if he’s aging well (and there have been plenty of injuries in the past three years), the Celtics’ championship window is like over two, maybe three years. However, that window is wide open. Win-now coaches and executives lean toward the win-now model (one never knows what the future will hold).
There are a lot of questions here for Stevens and Boston: How far will they go to make the trade work? Will they put Marcus Smart in the mix? How many drafts will be released? Do they think last season’s reach the finals is repeatable, or did they take too many breaks?
But one of those key questions is how they keep their relationship with Brown strong.