Longtime Trail Blazers executive Joe Cronin was elevated to the interim general manager role after Neil Olshey’s firing in early December. With Lillard’s future still uncertain, he needs to upgrade this roster to calm those waters. Sources say Detroit’s Jerami Grant and Boston’s Jaylen Brown are the types of talents that would achieve that goal, but it remains to be seen if Cronin can pull something like that off.
League sources remain adamant to MassLive that the Celtics are not considering deals involving Jaylen Brown or Jayson Tatum at the trade deadline. The team is also committed to starting center Robert Williams, who inked a four-year extension with the franchise last offseason, per sources.
The only thing that probably gets the Hawks to consider moving Collins is talking about Jaylen Brown in a deal (with Collins and more heading back to Boston) and league sources indicate Boston isn’t willing to go there with the All-Star this year. There could be some smaller deals that make sense with Atlanta and Boston but I don’t see Collins involved in any of them.
Marc Stein on the Celtics: They've been sending out the signal pretty strongly that they are not ready to trade Jaylen Brown.
Keith Smith: Jayson Tatum on talking and working with Jaylen Brown: "We both want to be here and we both want to figure it out. We want it bad. We want to figure it out together. There's not too many players in the league like JB. We've got each other's back."
The 19-21 Celtics have indicated to rival teams that they want to build around Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown — and have no interest to split up the two All-Star forwards right now, sources said. The 18-21 Celtics appear open for business around other players on the roster. Boston engaged with the 76ers before the season about a potential Simmons deal, but showed no inclination to move Brown.
After Boston Celtics star Jaylen Brown produced the first triple-double of his career in Boston's 99-75 victory over the New York Knicks here at TD Garden on Saturday night, he shot down the idea that he and Jayson Tatum can't have an effective long-term partnership. "I think we can play together," Brown said after finishing with 22 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists against the Knicks, who had stunned the Celtics two days earlier at Madison Square Garden thanks to an RJ Barrett banked-in, buzzer-beating 3-pointer. "We have played together well for the majority of our career and things like that. The last year or so hasn't gone as expected, but I think a lot of the adversity that we're kind of going through now is going to help us grow and get better in the future.
"If we get over this slump and continue to learn, I think there's a lot of good basketball on the other side of this. I only can control what I can control. I understand everybody has to do their jobs, but me and JT talk. We talked after the game, communicated with each other and things like that. So we're on the same page. I get where all the other frustration comes from, but as long as I'm on the same page with him and he's on the same page with me, that's where we're most focused on. So tonight we wanted to come out and get a win and we did it."
Chris Mannix: There's never really been much consideration given to trading Jaylen brown. What they're concerned with within the Celtics is... Do they have the right pieces around these guys?
Chris Mannix: There's never really been, from what I've been able to gather any type of de-commitment from Jaylen Brown. He's been frustrated. He's been out of the lineup. And he's only got one I think a couple of years left on his contract. The idea that they're gonna move Jaylen Brown, I think it would take something huge. Like Damian Lillard level huge.
Keith Smith: Asked around the NBA about rumors Boston may be looking to move Jaylen Brown. One rival front office exec summed it up best: "Have you noticed those quotes are always from another team? That tells me a lot of people want to trade for him, but Boston has no desire to trade him."
There’s been a lot of talk in recent days about the Celtics and whether it is “working,” leading to the idea that Jaylen Brown could be moved. Instead, two sources indicated that in recent talks the Celtics are focused on trying to add a third star to play with Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum.
Jake Fischer: I’ve never heard Jaylen Brown’s name being brought up more frequently than I have in the last two weeks. It got to the point where I contacted some people close to the situation around those two players, and it’s definitely something that’s being discussed. From everything I’ve heard by all accounts, the Celtics front office doesn’t have any designs on breaking up that pairing. I quoted an assistant general manager in my story when he called Boston, they say Jaylen and Jayson are their only untouchables. They’re the top two guys, and they’re building around those two dudes.
While the Celtics appear committed to building around Brown and Tatum, speculation about Brown’s availability has notably increased around the league. It is an ongoing topic of conversation among sources familiar with both players. Moving Brown would appear highly unlikely until after this season and seems more plausible ahead of 2022-23. But as long as Boston floats on the periphery of the Eastern Conference playoff picture, league personnel will monitor Brown’s status and if the Celtics inch closer toward pivoting in a new direction.
“I think there's pretty widespread belief that they don’t work together,” one general manager told B/R. “But unless ownership adds pressure on [Boston GM Brad Stevens], I don’t see them doing anything.” Boston has seemed to value Marcus Smart and Robert Williams III in a second tier behind Brown and Tatum, but the two veterans stand as the most accomplished Boston players rival executives believe are available for trade this season. Dennis Schroder, who has produced both as a starter and Celtics reserve, is another strong trade candidate. His upcoming free agency next summer is shaping into a more lucrative stint on the open market than this past August, which could price him out of Boston’s roster construction.
Fair point from Mr. Fisher here. It wasn’t too long ago that the Celtics were one of the most highly-promising young teams in the NBA. Since then, their development has stagnated and it has come to a point that there are now serious questions about this team’s core: “I think this is definitely the beginning of the end for the Jayson Tatum-Jaylen Brown pairing,” Fisher continued. “I don’t know if that will get broken up this season. But I think sometime in the next 12-18 months we’re really going start to hear about to hear the conversations about the future of Boston with Jaylen Brown heading out the door.”
“I just walked up to Jaylen and said, ‘your name is all over the place as you know. Obviously, from our standpoint, you’re a Celtic and obviously a guy that we think exceptionally high of. Nothing doing,’” Stevens said of his conversation with Brown on the speculation. “I just wanted to make sure that he has that peace of mind.”
Multiple league sources were adamant to MassLive.com that the Celtics have no interest in moving the All-Star Brown in the interim, particularly with him under team control for two more seasons at a below-market deal. 76ers general manager Daryl Morey has always aimed high in trade negotiations throughout his career but this is posturing will likely go nowhere given what’s happened to Simmons’ trade value over the past several months in the midst of his holdout.
Speaking last Friday on Celtics pregame live, the former NBA player recalled the conversation when trade talks were buzzing around the league which centers around the superstar. “I remember last year around this time when teams were calling about James Harden and Houston actually wanted Jaylen Brown,” Perkins said on the segment. “I was on the phone with Danny Ainge for an hour, and I remember how our conversation went. He was like, ‘Hey, Perk, would you trade Jaylen Brown for James Harden?’ And I was like, ‘Danny, you know how I feel about Jaylen Brown, but I would trade him for James Harden.’ He was like, ‘ Are you kidding me? He’s not going anywhere. He’s not even 25 and he keeps getting better.’
Chris Grenham: Zach Lowe just now on ESPN's Woj & Lowe special regarding Bradley Beal: "Is Boston going to offer Jaylen Brown? I don't think so." pic.twitter.com/eOvSv7Tu7u
Sports Illustrated Chris Mannix reveals two names he believes to be enticing enough for the Celtics to include Jaylen Brown for in a trade. While he didn’t provide a firm report on any trade rumblings going on at the moment, he could potentially be plugged into some sources who might have a better feel for Boston’s outlook. The seasoned insider spoke out on Early Edition this past week. “There are a couple of players out there that I think the Celtics would move for Jaylen Brown,” Mannix said. “One would be Bradley Beal, who has to make a decision of his own the next couple weeks if he wants to sign that extension with Washington. If he doesn’t, that’s tantamount to a trade request and he can become available. And we all know at this point about the relationship between Bradley Beal and Jayson Tatum.
“The other is Damian Lillard. It’s still very much up in the air, Lillard’s future in Portland. If in the coming weeks the Blazers decide that they have to trade Damian Lillard, I think Boston would be in a pretty good position to make a strong offer that would have to include Jaylen Brown. So, you don’t just move him to shake things up, but if one of those two players becomes available I think you have to look long and hard about trading Jaylen Brown.”
Boston’s pursuit of Lillard will likely come to down their inclusion of Brown, which, understandably so, is an extremely hard decision to make. With Brown’s inclusion, the Celtics might not need to add too much more beyond an additional prospect and a first-round pick or two. Still, Brown is just 24-years-old and is still improving. He may never be as great as Lillard but the longevity of Brown and Tatum could outweigh the smaller window of contention Lillard and Tatum would have. There is so much the Celtics can still do to build a contender around Brown and Tatum over the next few years.
Brad Stevens stepped down as head coach, and Danny Ainge stepped down as president of basketball operations. Sources said the team will keep Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, but Walker will be a part of the shakeup. And the feeling is mutual between Walker and the organization.
Tatum and Brown are as close to being untradeable as you will find, according to multiple league executives.
Jordan Schultz: #Celtics are not willing to trade Jaylen Brown, per sources. Brown is a budding superstar and excellent human being to help build your organization around. I’m told Danny Ainge has been pleased w/Jaylen’s overall improvement and increased role - which he asked of JB b4 the season
Though the Hawks’ demands for Collins have been similar to Orlando’s Gordon price tag, Atlanta’s initial response to Boston’s pursuit of the 23-year-old forward was to build a larger deal around Jaylen Brown, league sources tell The Athletic’s Chris Kirschner. Since the 24-year-old All-Star plays the most valuable position in the game and just started a below market four-year deal, that was not going anywhere unless Atlanta was looking to include Trae Young and DeAndre Hunter, their two main building blocks.
Though the Hawks’ demands for Collins have been similar to Orlando’s Gordon price tag, Atlanta’s initial response to Boston’s pursuit of the 23-year-old forward was to build a larger deal around Jaylen Brown, league sources tell The Athletic’s Chris Kirschner. Since the 24-year-old All-Star plays the most valuable position in the game and just started a below market four-year deal, that was not going anywhere unless Atlanta was looking to include Trae Young and DeAndre Hunter, their two main building blocks. Trades for young top picks with long-term control like this are exceedingly rare, especially once they have hit the All-Star threshold.
The good news for Brown? It appears Celtics ownership, management and coach Brad Stevens feel the same way. That was evident during the Harden saga, when sources say Boston’s level of interest and involvement far surpassed what Ainge was willing to admit to when he addressed it publicly. Ironically, that deal — as opposed to a possible trade for Barnes — likely would have required Brown to be dealt.
Brian Robb: A league source tells @bostonsportsbsj that the Rockets' asking price for James Harden from the #Celtics included Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart and draft compensation. More: bostonsportsjournal.com/2021/01/14/dan…
Of course, Boston is a potential player in any trade negotiation because of its two young wings, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. Tatum is likely untouchable, but with Brown entering a contract year and playing a similar position, he could be the centerpiece of a deal for Beal or Love. Even without those two, a package such as the Memphis pick, Boston’s own first and either Grant Williams or Romeo Langford would be a compelling asset package, one that would potentially tempt teams to swallow the rest of Hayward’s deal and send the Celtics a high-level starter.
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.
May 20, 2022 | 8:25 pm EDT Update
Shams Charania: 2021-22 NBA All-Defensive teams: First team: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Mikal Bridges, Rudy Gobert, Jaren Jackson Jr., Marcus Smart Second team: Bam Adebayo, Draymond Green, Jrue Holiday, Matisse Thybulle, Robert Williams III
Bobby Marks: Robert Williams has a $223,215 bonus as part of his rookie extension. However, because Williams is still in the fourth year of his rookie scale contract, the bonus is not earned. The bonus is now deemed likely and his cap hit for 2022-23 is adjusted to $10,937,502.
Melissa Rohlin: Gary Payton II (fractured left elbow) has started to do various light individual on-court activities and will be re-evaluated in one week. Andre Iguodala (disc injury in his neck) continues to show progress and an update will come when he’s cleared to practice.
May 20, 2022 | 7:27 pm EDT Update
The Lakers appear poised to make a decision on their coaching position soon, with Milwaukee Bucks assistant Darvin Ham, Golden State Warriors assistant Kenny Atkinson and former Portland Trail Blazers coach Terry Stotts the finalists for the job that became vacant when Frank Vogel was fired at season’s end. But as the final round of interviews is set, sources tell The Athletic that Ham appears to have made the strongest impression yet.
In terms of the Lakers’ preferences, sources say team officials have prioritized a coach who can command respect and authority from the locker room and who has a strong enough presence and voice to manage the varying roles and relationships across the roster. Those characteristics bode well for Ham’s candidacy. Throughout assistant coaching stops with the Lakers, Hawks and Bucks, Ham has been known for his no-nonsense style and ability to resonate with his players — attributes that have stood out in his communication with the Lakers thus far as well, sources said.