Celtics news & rumors: Tatum and Brown ‘untouchable’; Smart tradable

Boston Celtics (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
Boston Celtics (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images) /

The Boston Celtics have one of the best young duos in the NBA in Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown.  When both rising All-Stars are healthy and playing well, the team is nearly unbeatable as was the case Monday night in a 117-103 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks.

In Brown’s return to action, Tatum heated things up with a season-high 42 points.  JB contributed 19 points, but it was obvious when the two are on the court together, things get easier as Brown highlighted following the game.

"“You can’t double us both,” Brown said, via Boston.com.  “So being out there, just being out there, I think takes pressure off of [Tatum].  Being able to play without seeing double teams and even at times triple teams.  So, if I’m out there and you’re doubling him, then I’m going to be aggressive.  And if you double me, then he’s going to look to be aggressive.”"

While injuries have been a major reason why Tatum and Brown haven’t been on the court all that much together, there is a growing vibe around the NBA as to whether the duo is compatible.

Does Boston Celtics young All-Stars Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown work as a duo?

The Celtics front office obviously believes in their young stars, but according to Bleacher Report’s Jake Fisher, breaking the duo up may be the team’s best shot at getting better.

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According to Fisher, while several NBA executives were told the All-Star duo was “untouchable, there are some executives around the league who believe there is some doubt as to whether Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown can gel together.

"“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.”"

While another assistant GM questioned whether the two can “coexist,” the pressure is now on the Boston Celtics young duo to prove they can grow and excel together, while leading the C’s back towards the top of the NBA.  As Fisher’s report proves, however, time might be running out.  The next couple of months will sway whether that “untouchable” status stands or if Stevens is pressured to blow things up.

NBA rumors: Boston Celtics need to trade Marcus Smart

If the Boston Celtics aren’t willing to part ways with Jayson Tatum or Jaylen Brown, a player like Marcus Smart must be made available in a potential trade…that is if Brad Stevens believes a shakeup is needed.

Yes, rumors are out there about listening to trades offers for Dennis Schröeder, but if the Celtics want a big piece to compliment Brown and Tatum, Smart must be included in any trade package.  That package could also include young big man Robert Williams II considering some of the players believed to be available in trades.

A couple of big men to watch are Myles Turner and Domantas Sabonis of the Indiana Pacers.  While the Turner rumors have been persistent over the last few seasons, Sabonis is a player who give the Boston Celtics that versatile big man they have been looking for to pair with Tatum and Brown.

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That is where using Smart as a trade piece comes in.  He would have to be included salary wise, along with other mid-level salaries and draft capitol to even entice Indiana when it comes Sabonis.

In such a deal for Sabonis, the Pacers will ask for Brown, obviously.  But, in a deal for Turner, a swap for Smart may be in the cards.  If so, the Boston Celtics must not whiff this time around.