The Boston Celtics were serious about trading for Davis, as well. They were willing to discuss young, talented players such as Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart, according to sources close to the negotiations. But the Celtics were never going to give up as much as the Lakers.
If the Celtics are pushing for trades this offseason, the question of how other teams value Tatum and Brown relative to each other is important because the team figures to make one or the other - but not both - the centerpiece of an offer for a superstar this summer. "Between Jaylen and Jayson," one general manager told SN, "it's probably closer than you'd think."
Now Tatum has been placed in trade scenarios publicly along with Jaylen Brown, just as more than half of the Los Angeles Lakers’ roster went through for two weeks before the deadline. Tatum, who turns 21 on March 3, has the silky smooth game that had scouts comparing him to Kobe Bryant as early as the McDonald’s All-American week in Chicago in 2016. Wherever Tatum plays, he understands his potential.
BSJ: Danny has talked openly about the fact that he does not plan to make any big moves ahead of the trade deadline and wants to make a run at it with this core group. When he provides that vote of confidence publicly, does that provide any kind of a boost or help make you feel better about the situation? Jaylen Brown: It kind of feels the same. It doesn't make a difference. We just have to come out and play basketball. We know this game is a business. We understand that. We'll see what happens after the All-Star break. Like Danny said, this group is the group that we have. That's great. Let's continue to move forward and try to build towards a championship.
“I’ve talked to Danny about a lot of stuff throughout the years,” Brown said. “But he’s said the same stuff every year. ‘It’s a business. Rumors are just rumors.’ It’s the same stuff every year. Control what you can control and protect yourself.” Brown said he avoids most of the drama by logging off, letting his support team handle the infrequent posts on his social media accounts. Nothing productive came from scrolling his phone and checking for likes, so he mostly checked out. “I’m disconnected from the media world because, no offense, some of it is just trash,” Brown said. “I started to recognize how much time I spent on stuff I didn’t need to spend it on. I started spending my time elsewhere.”
Chris Forsberg: Danny Ainge on @Toucherandrich said he reached out to Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum to discuss their names being in trade rumors. Wanted to be honest with them about the “business side” of basketball and all the noise of trade season.
The Celtics could float Terry Rozier and Jaylen Brown on the trade market, but league sources tell NBCSports.com they are likely to sit sight and hope both bounce back to last season’s levels. With the chances of a midseason Anthony Davis trade lessening by the day, the Celtics have good reason to hold pat.
DeRozan as a centerpiece is a disappointing return, but also one that reflects market realities. Gregg Popovich does not want to finish his career in a rebuild. The Spurs never showed interest in packages -- including Boston's -- heavy on picks and unproven players, sources have said. The Celtics would not swap any of their core guys, including Jaylen Brown, perhaps the most interesting Leonard trade chip in the league, without some assurances about Leonard's health and future plans, sources have said.
Boston hasn't included Jaylen Brown, sources say. As I wrote here, it might make more sense to offer Kyrie Irving or Gordon Hayward before Brown, but I don't see either happening. Boston is confident it can re-sign Irving despite chatter -- credible chatter -- that Irving and Jimmy Butler would like to play together, per league sources. They've earned such confidence.
Sources told Sporting News that the Celtics are approaching the situation with trepidation. They have no intention of trading Tatum whatsoever this offseason, even in a deal for Leonard. The Spurs would want Brown as part of any trade package, but even there, Boston is wavering.
After giving Thomas his physical, the Cavs weren't convinced that the Celtics were fully forthcoming about the extent of Thomas' hip injury, so they're looking to restructure the trade with added assets. We don't know exactly what assets Cleveland is asking for, but ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowki reported on SportsCenter on Sunday that they'll definitely ask about rookie Jayson Tatum and second-year wing Jaylen Brown.
"Boston is resisting, and will initially at least, resist this idea," Wojnarowski said. "Boston believes that it was completely transparent with Cleveland about where Thomas was physically, his rehab. Cleveland's version of this is that they didn't realize how long Thomas could potentially be out this season, he's in the final year of his contract, and obviously, that matches up with what will likely be the final year of LeBron's current deal, and so there's going to be a showdown between these two teams that may last a couple more days."
Adam Kaufman: Per @Chris Mannix on @CSNNE, #Celtics will draw line in sand. May part with a 2nd Rd pick to complete #Cavs deal. No firsts/Brown/Tatum.
One NBA executive said he could see a blockbuster deal between the Celtics and Knicks. His proposed trade: Porzingis to the Celtics for Boston's No. 3 pick, a future No. 1 pick and a player, perhaps Jaylen Brown. Can you imagine a Celtics' frontline of Porzingis, Al Horford and perhaps Gordon Hayward? One word: wow.
Chris Mannix: I don’t think, for my understanding, that Boston has any desire to put Jaylen Brown in that deal. They’re big believers in Jaylen Brown’s future out there.
July 1, 2022 | 5:36 am EDT Update
It’s no coincidence the two franchises Durant has eyed represent some kind of stability and competitive consistency, with the Phoenix Suns and Miami Heat being atop his list. For all the influence Durant perhaps craved and was granted in Brooklyn, he’s a hooper first and second — with the game being the main thing with #HeatCulture and in the Suns’ building. Sources told Yahoo Sports wanting to play alongside Devin Booker is a main motivation, along with the possibility of being slated next to Miami’s resident hard-ass Jimmy Butler — two players whose attendance is rarely questioned.
Joe Ingles agreed to a one-year deal with the Bucks, as announced by his wife on Twitter. I had heard and thought there was a chance Portland would bring him back despite his age and recent knee injury, but they have too many other moving parts right now for that to make sense. He’ll have to settle for being on the Mount Rushmore of Blazers legends alongside Festus Ezeli, Anderson Varejao and Mehmet Okur.
July 1, 2022 | 2:47 am EDT Update
When the two-time NBA Finals MVP made it known he wanted to be traded out of Brooklyn, expected business quickly fell by the wayside as teams tried to reposition themselves to at least make an offer. According to a source, the Bulls were a part of those phone calls, despite Durant reportedly having the Heat and Suns among his desired destinations — and despite the reality that the Bulls don’t have the type of high-profile player or quality of draft picks the Nets were looking for in a trade package.
Phoenix has the kinds of players who might make this a win-win for all involved — namely, Suns small forward Mikal Bridges and restricted free agent center DeAndre Ayton. In the days before Irving’s choice to opt-in, sources close to Ayton had raised this possibility of an Ayton-Bridges deal being very much on their radar. At that time, however, it was unclear whether Durant was going to ask out.