Jaylen Brown, Boston Celtics. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Jaylen Brown couldn’t have been happy about seeing his name included in Kevin Durant trade rumors. Could a move to the Atlanta Hawks be coming in free agency?
For the time being, the Kevin Durant drama is over and the Brooklyn Nets have moved forward with their current roster. Before trade talks died down, reports circulated that Jaylen Brown had been offered by the Celtics to try and acquire Durant via trade.
A couple of weeks later it became quite clear why a deal was never agreed upon between Boston and Brooklyn — the Nets wanted both Jayson Tatum and Brown in return for Durant, which they knew wasn’t going to happen. Although, an official trade never happened, is the long-term relationship between Celtics general manager Brad Stevens and Brown in jeopardy?
— Jaylen Brown (@FCHWPO) July 25, 2022
Now, Brown is being linked to his hometown team, the Atlanta Hawks, for when he becomes a free agent at the end of next season.
The NBA players understand it’s a business, but all players are human and have feelings. How would you feel if you performed the way Brown did in the 2022 NBA Finals — 23.5 points, 7.3 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game — and a month later the team is making you available for a trade? If Boston had won the Finals, Brown would have been the Finals MVP!
Why would Brown go to the Hawks? Well, an anonymous Eastern Conference executive told Heavy.com:
“They’ve been after more two-way players in recent years, because signing up a few big names around Trae Young has not worked out. We’ll have to see what they do with (De’Andre) Hunter and (Onyeka) Okongwu because they will need extensions but if they can clear out the room, that’s probably the biggest team to worry the Celtics.”
Equally important, it’s not a new trend of NBA players having an interest in playing in their hometown — Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, etc. It helps that the Hawks aren’t too far away from competing for a title and adding Brown makes sense. Though executing this plan will be easier said than done.
Obviously, it would come down to salary. Atlanta would have to figure out the contracts of Clint Capela, Okongwu, John Collins and Hunter, but a big three with Trae Young, Dejounte Murray and Brown is certainly something to build around. It would leave the Hawks quite thin up-front, but offensively they’d be one of the best in the league. It’ll be interesting to see how Brown’s relationship with Boston changes as the 2022-23 season progresses.
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