Jaylen Brown’s initial, or at least initially alleged, reaction to the reports Boston offered him in a trade for Kevin Durant didn’t look good for the Celtics.
The star wing tweeted “Smh” in the hours following the report, sparking speculation that Brown might want to leave Boston and leave when his contract expires in 2024.
An executive from another team does not think this is the case. The executive told longtime Celtics insider Steve Bulpett that they believe Brown wants to be in Boston for the long haul.
“I think Jaylen IS long term,” the executive told Heavy.com’s Bulpett. “If they want him long term and they’re going to pay him the contract he deserves, I think he’s all in on Boston. From everything I’ve been told, Jaylen is a loyal guy. I know frustration can come when things aren’t going well, and I think we saw some of that earlier in the last season.
“But when you step back and look at it, I think he wants to be there. him. And right now, I don’t see that from the Celtics. I think they know what they have in Jaylen – now and for the future – and they want that to continue.
Another executive told Bulpett they don’t know how real the Celtics-Nets trade talks are, but that Boston would be involved somehow because of Brown’s stature.
“Jaylen Brown is the best player we’ve heard linked to this thing, so Brooklyn needs to keep this alive,” the executive told Bulpett. “I still don’t know how real it is, and believe me, we tried to find out for our own good.
“Maybe there’s nothing there at all, or maybe there’s something if Brooklyn comes back to reality with what they’re asking for. But unless they find another deal for Durant or work things out with him, a team like Boston is stuck in this – the rumors and whispers around the league at least – because they have some really good players.
The Celtics’ interest in Durant was first reported on July 25. Boston offered Brown plus guard Derrick White for Durant, but the Nets want guard Marcus Smart and another player plus first-round picks instead of White, The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported.
However, Boston and Brooklyn have “no real traction” on a possible deal with Kevin Durant, The Boston Globes Adam Himmelsbach reported on Wednesday. Celtics president of basketball operations Brad Stevens and coach Ime Udoka have also been in constant communication with Brown, who understands the situation, Himmelsbach added.
Durant considers the Celtics a “desired” landing spot after giving the Nets an ultimatum to either fire Sean Marks and Steve Nash or trade him, SNY’s Ian Begley reported Wednesday.
Publicly, the Celtics have not commented on the trade rumors. Jayson Tatum and Grant Williams are the only players to have spoken about the reports. Tatum was a little deferential when first asked, but said he and Brown had “more to do.” Willams is confident Brown will be in the right frame of mind going into the season and added that being the rumored centerpiece in a deal for Durant shows how “precious” Brown is.
Brown will become eligible for an extension in October. However, insiders don’t expect Brown to sign an extension this offseason. Boston can only offer Brown a three-year, $111 million contract, plus the remaining two years of his current contract. If Brown is named to an All-NBA team within the next two seasons, he can sign a five-year, $273 million contract with the Celtics when he becomes a free agent in 2024.
The Suns, Heat and 76ers are the other teams Durant reportedly considered as desired locations for a trade. The Raptors have reportedly expressed interest in the two-time Finals MVP.
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