Boston Celtics: Why Jaylen Brown is untouchable in trade talks

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - FEBRUARY 17: Jaylen Brown #7 of the Boston Celtics (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - FEBRUARY 17: Jaylen Brown #7 of the Boston Celtics (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /

As rumors continue to swirl around the yearly NBA offseason trade machine, one thing should be clear to Boston Celtics President of Basketball Operations Brad Stevens; Jaylen Brown is untouchable. No matter if the target is Bradley Beal, Damian Lillard, or even a surprise target such as Ben Simmons, Brown should not be involved in any deal.

In any hypothetical trade, the Boston Celtics would simply be giving up too much, both in the present and in the future. Since being booed on draft night by the fans who now adore him, Brown has done nothing but exceed expectations. This past year, he took yet another jump, finishing with a career high 24.7 points per game, putting up the best shooting percentages of his career while greatly increasing his usage rate.

This isn’t the Cleveland Cavaliers trading Andrew Wiggins and Anthony Bennett before Wiggins had even set foot on an NBA court and with Bennett already looking like a bust. This would be the Golden State Warriors trading away Klay Thompson after the 2013 season just because he and Stephen Curry hadn’t won any titles yet. We all know how that turned out.

And yes, to get their second and third titles, Thompson and Curry needed help in the form of Kevin Durant. That’s exactly the point. The NBA is a league of stars, and the best teams, the teams competing for championships, have multiple.

Look at the NBA Finals going on right now between the Milwaukee Bucks and Phoenix Suns. The Bucks have Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton, and Jrue Holiday, while the Suns revolve around the trio of Chris Paul, Devin Booker, and Deandre Ayton. Trading Brown leaves the Boston Celtics with two stars at best. Keeping him gives them the potential to have three.

The Boston Celtics would be foolish to trade Jaylen Brown now

That’s the second reason that the Celtics would be foolish to trade Brown at this point. The Celtics don’t need to flip Brown for a better player such as Beal or Lillard, but instead need to add a true third star to the existing core of Jayson Tatum and Brown.

More from Boston Celtics

Anyone who watched their playoff series against the Brooklyn Nets this year would agree that they simply were not close to the level of that team. Yes, they played that series without Brown, but I’m not convinced that even if they had him it would have been a different outcome.

A trade would be a lateral move at best for the Celtics. We saw how far away they were from the Nets, and the difference was much more than Brown, Beal, or Lillard would have made up. Giving up a younger, cheaper player just to end up in the same place is silly. What the Celtics need is to add, not exchange what they already have.

Celtics fans want this to be an immediate turnaround following last season’s disappointment, but it probably won’t be, unless Brad Stevens can convince the Washington Wizards to accept a package built around first round picks and Boston’s relatively unproven young players like Payton Pritchard or Aaron Nesmith for Beal.

Next. Jayson Tatum Knows he can dominate people. dark

Or the Celtics can simply wait and let Tatum recruit his childhood friend to the Celtics once Beal’s contract with the Washington Wizards expires after next season.

While it may be appealing to pull the trigger on a Jaylen Brown trade to try and compete for a title now, the reality is that getting rid of Brown gets Boston no closer to the Finals than they were this year. Boston’s true path to contention is to hold onto Jaylen Brown and find a way to add a third star to compete with the rest of the star-studded NBA.