NBA rumors: Jaylen Brown defends pairing with Jayson Tatum: 'I think we can play together'

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.

More on Jaylen Brown Trade?

"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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
Antranig Kzirian: Noel for Jaylen Brown straight up. Both teams needs are addressed. - Steve Kyler: No chance. Danny Ainge loves Jaylen Brown.
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Kevin Durant trade: Nets aiming for 'historic haul' in return

Wojnarowski said it created an unprecedented situation as some teams called Brooklyn with offers and then called back later to increase those offers without getting a counter from the Nets. “There’s never quite been a player of Durant’s stature at this point in his career available for a trade, certainly in the modern era,” Wojnarowski said, adding that Brooklyn is aiming for a “historic haul” in return.

Any deal involving Kyrie Irving to wait until Kevin Durant is moved?

Appearing this morning on ESPN’s “KJM,” Brian Windhorst cited a “high-90% chance” that the Nets will honor Durant’s trade request and said any deal involving Kyrie Irving will have to wait until Durant is moved. Irving only wants to go to the Lakers, but that means the Nets would have to take Russell Westbrook, who makes about $11MM more than Irving, and working out other compensation for Brooklyn won’t be easy.
Nets owner Joseph Tsai had already reached his limit, multiple sources told The Athletic, after years of injuries, off-court embarrassments and playoff failures were followed by threats leaked by Irving and Durant during Brooklyn’s contract negotiations with Irving. Tsai, 58, co-founder of Alibaba Group, China’s largest commerce retailer, was born in Taiwan, went to high school in New Jersey, has two degrees and four varsity letters (lacrosse) from Yale and is worth $9 billion, according to Forbes.