Rumors persist that the Boston Celtics are planning to add to the core two of Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum ahead of the February 10 NBA trade deadline.
That hasn’t stopped talk of Boston potentially moving off one of these star wings with the team struggling to find any type of balance behind them.
The Celtics enter the 2022 calendar year as a bottom-end playoff contender back east under first-year head coach Ime Udoka and new team president Brad Stevens. In fact, they are currently under .500.
As for Stevens, he’s already gone against the grain that defined Danny Ainge’s long tenure in Boston. That included giving up actual assets to move off the lofty contract of Kemba Walker this past summer.
In short, it would not be an absolute shock if Boston moved Brown as a way to find Tatum a new running mate. It’s all about roster construction for a Celtics team without any real short-term hopes of title contention. Below, we look at four ideal Jaylen Brown trade scenarios should Stevens pull the trigger.
Related: Updated NBA trade rumors
Jaylen Brown trade to the Sacramento Kings
- Celtics get: De’Aaron Fox, Harrison Barnes, 2022 first-round pick
- Kings get: Jaylen Brown, Al Horford
There’s been talk that Sacramento will look to unload Fox with the team clearly boasting too many backcourt players. General manager Monte McNair wants to round out the roster while building around Tyrese Haliburton and Davion Mitchell. For the Kings, this trade would make a whole lot of sense. As a true wing, Brown would fit in extremely well with those two young guards. It’s a much more logical fit for Sacramento.
- Jaylen Brown stats (2021-22): 22.8 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 2.8 APG, 45% shooting, 38% three-point
As for Boston, adding a franchise point guard to the mix for Tatum would be seen as an absolute win. Picking up one of the underrated wings in the game in that of Harrison Barnes opens Boston’s window at contention, too. It also doesn’t hurt that the Celtics pick up Sacramento’s unprotected first-round pick in 2022 (Sportsnaut projects to be No. 7 overall). Talk about assets to add another star to the mix next summer.
Jaylen Brown trade to the Indiana Pacers
- Celtics get: Domantas Sabonis, Caris LeVert
- Pacers get: Jaylen Brown, Dennis Schroder
Indiana is seemingly hellbent on breaking up its core duo of Sabonis and Malcolm Brogdon. The idea here would be to move off Sabonis and add more pieces to go with Brogdon and stud rookie Chris Duarte. What better way to do that than finding a truly elite young wing with a ton of upside remaining in his game? This would be a coup for front office head Kevin Pritchard.
As for Boston, Sabonis and Tatum would make up a terrific front-court duo. LeVert and his scoring ability (16.7 points per game in 2021-22) would take over as the starting two-guard next to Marcus Smart. While neither Sabonis nor LeVert boast the star power that Brown does, it would make for a more well-rounded roster.
Jaylen Brown trade to the Golden State Warriors
- Celtics get: Andrew Wiggins, Moses Moody, future first-round pick
- Warriors get: Jaylen Brown, Juancho Hernangomez
It’s taken years, but Wiggins has finally lived up to his billing as a No. 1 pick. In fact, there’s All-Star talk surrounding the three-and-D veteran. He’s been absolutely elite on the defensive end of the court and is one of the top three-point shooters in the game. In fact, Wiggins PER is comparable to Brown himself. For Boston, the idea would be to add Wiggins to the mix as a more natural three while picking up assets to acquire another star player.
- Andrew Wiggins stats (2021-22): 18.8 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 49% shooting, 43% three-point
Golden State’s inclusion in this potential trade is far more questionable. The team loves what Wiggins has brought to the table since acquiring him in a now-lopsided trade with the Minnesota Timberwolves. However, Brown offers a ton more upside to go with Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green. To be able to acquire the 25-year-old wing without giving up Jonathan Kuminga or James Wiseman would also be seen as a win.
Jaylen Brown trade to the Minnesota Timberwolves
- Celtics get: Karl-Anthony Towns
- Timberwolves get: Jaylen Brown, Grant Williams, first-round pick
It remains to be seen exactly how other teams value Towns. He’s one of the better scoring big men in the game, but struggles on the defensive end of the court. For Boston, they would be able to make that up with Tatum being a solid defender and other veterans who perform at a high level on that end of the court. A move of this ilk would also enable Tatum to play his more natural small forward position. It’s a great fit in Beantown.
- Karl-Anthony Towns stats (2021-22): 24.5 PPG, 9.1 RPG, 3.6 APG, 51% shooting, 43% three-point
Without a question, Anthony Edwards is the face of the Timberwolves’ franchise. He’s a star waiting to happen and a franchise cornerstone. Building around him while moving off KAT should be in the cards at some point in the not-so-distant future. Acquiring Brown to play the three with Edwards and D’Angelo Russell in the backcourt would make for one of the best trios in the Association. Adding Williams and a first-round pick would also enable Minnesota to pull off another trade to round out its roster next summer.