Boston Celtics fans and players woke up to a Woj bomb on Monday morning — the Celtics had been in talks with the Nets about a Kevin Durant trade with Jaylen Brown as the centerpiece. Those talks appear stalled out — just like all Durant trade talks — but the Celtics being open to breaking up the core that came within two wins of being NBA champions to land one of the greatest scorers ever to play the game was stunning news.
Brown himself apparently didn’t like it much.
— Jaylen Brown (@FCHWPO) July 25, 2022
According to Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald, Brown doesn’t want to be traded.
Source on Jaylen Brown's reaction to trade rumors: "He loves it in Boston. He was two games away from a championship. He's happy and looking forward to coming back. … Like Kawhi, AD and others on that level, he's going to be included in every report because of who he is." https://t.co/bNV0y6U9Zw
— Mark Murphy (@Murf56) July 25, 2022
Unless there was reason to suspect Brown was considering leaving the Celtics when his contract is up in two years, there is little reason for Boston to try and trade him — except Kevin Durant changes the equation. Durant is such an elite talent — two-time Finals MVP, regular season MVP, 10-time All-NBA, and the resume goes on and on — that the Celtics have to consider it. A Durant and Jayson Tatum tandem with quality role players (particularly shooters and defenders) around them could make Boston title favorites. It’s smart management to kick the tires on that kind of deal.
How serious Brad Stevens and the Celtics are about pursuing Durant, and at what cost, remains to be seen. Another way to consider today’s news: If the Nets were trying to rekindle dormant talks with other teams, putting the Celtics and their considerable trade assets on the table is one way to do it.
Either way, the Durant trade talks continue to make headlines, and now Jaylen Brown is in the middle of them. Like it or not.