Jaylen Brown and the Boston Celtics were eliminated from the NBA’s Eastern Conference Finals on their own home floor this week.
After winning three straight outings, Boston floundered in Game 7 and got trounced by 19 points. Aside from one of their cheerleaders going mega-viral over her wild photos, not much went right for the Celtics.
Brown, specifically, was awful in the losing effort – scoring 19 points on 8-of-23 shooting and finishing with a +/- of -17.
This summer, thanks to him being named to the All-NBA Second Team in 2023, Brown is eligible for a super max contract extension. Boston can now offer him a five-year, $295 million deal. That is more than 100 million over what he would have been able to get had he not made an All-NBA Team.
Brown also has the option of playing out his final season with the Celtics (where his girl can come watch him play) and becoming an unrestricted free agent, but nobody can offer him more money than Boston.
The question now is just whether all parties involved will feel like paying Brown that sort of cash is a worthwhile investment.
If the answer to proves be “no,” two teams have emerged as the frontrunners to steal him away.
The first is the Portland Trail Blazers.
“If they do decide to do a tweak, isn’t Portland the logical destination?” Ryen Russilo said this week on the Bill Simmons Podcast.
“Portland is on a timetable with Dame [Lillard], they got the number three pick in the draft. They seem a little bit desperate for a variety of reasons. It’s either trade Dame or keep Dame and try to make run.
“They’ve been open about saying we want to get a wing. And it just seems like that’s kind of a fit, if you’re the Celtics. Let’s say it’s number three and it’s [Anfernee] Simons and it’s a future first and it’s a swap, or maybe it’s just number three and Simons, I don’t know what Brown’s value is.”
Kendrick Perkins, who has long been a proponent of Boston breaking up its Brown-Jayson Tatum core, offered a similar sentiment this week. Only he suggested that Brown and parts get moved to Portland for Lillard himself.
— First Take (@FirstTake) May 22, 2023
“Who says no?” he openly wondered. “[Does] Portland say no? Hell no! Do the Celtics say no? Hell no. It’s time for change. It’s time for something different.”
If not the Blazers, the Houston Rockets also make a lot of sense.
“Brown, whom rival executives are closely monitoring as he becomes extension eligible this summer, has been one of Udoka’s most public supporters after Boston suspended the coach following an improper relationship with a Celtics staffer,” he wrote.
“The Rockets, sources said, also addressed the idea of including second-year guard Jalen Green, the No. 2 pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, as part of a package for acquiring established star talent.”
At the moment, all three scenarios seem equally plausible: Brown going to the Blazers, heading to the Rockets or remaining in Boston.
Impressive stuff from the Miami Heat. https://t.co/Mhc8itwqsI
— Game 7 (@game7__) May 30, 2023
Each comes with its own fair share of positives and negatives.
It’s just a matter of what ultimately ends up being the most sense for the most parties involved.
Will Brown still be a member of the Celtics come the beginning of the 2023-24 NBA season? Time will tell.