Brown’s Concerning Comments?
Jaylen Brown’s recent comments in an interview with The Ringer’s Logan Murdock regarding his future have caused some Celtics fans to begin to worry. Brown, a 26-year-old All-Star, noted that his future in Boston is out of his hands, and he will play where he is “wanted,” “needed,” and “treated correctly.”
These vague responses left many fans speculating what Brown actually meant and whether he was possibly considering leaving Boston through free agency or even trade.
Jaylen Focused On Playoff Run
The next day, Brown declined to be more specific when fielding questions from reporters. The All-Star explained that he was not ready to talk about it and chose to prioritize his team’s preparation for the upcoming playoffs instead. He assured the press that he’d expand on those comments at some point down the line, but for the moment, he has chosen to stay focused on getting the team ready to play meaningful April, May, and hopefully June playoff basketball.
Brown, Tatum, & Stevens Talked It Out
Amid this Summer’s trade rumors, where there was chatter the Celtics could offer Brown in a package for Kevin Durant, all three set up a call to talk about the direction of the team. Tatum shared his reassuring words with Brown during the call, acknowledging his importance to the team and their need for him if they had any hope of reaching their goals.
Tatum told reporters: “Just reassuring the obvious that we need him, that he’s a big part of this team, this franchise. Without him, we can’t reach our goal. You guys know that. The world knows that. The team knows that. We need him to be the best version of ourselves.”
In a league where respect plays a significant role in a player’s decision to stay or leave a franchise, the Celtics must ensure that Brown feels like he is part of the team’s long-term plans. That all starts with communication from the very top of the organization, making sure he knows the direction the team is heading and feels like a valued part of the organization.
Possible Desire For Larger Role?
Celtics legend Paul Pierce speculated on SiriusXM NBA Radio that Brown might want to be “the guy” and take on a larger role within the team. While there is no indication that Brown is unhappy with his current role, it’s definitely a possibility.
“Maybe Jaylen wants the opportunity to be ‘the guy,'” Pierce said, as Conor Roche of Boston.com transcribed. “I’ve seen this for years as guys have left teams. Just think of James Harden. James Harden wouldn’t be James Harden if he didn’t leave (the Oklahoma City Thunder). Tracy McGrady wouldn’t have turned into T-Mac if he didn’t leave Toronto. You never know. Maybe that’s on Jaylen’s mind, or maybe he’ll stay.
“There’s a lot of factors that go into a mindset of a player of his caliber because we know he’s a premier player in this league. Maybe he wants the opportunity to see if he can be ‘the guy,’ or who knows.”
Let’s be honest – Jaylen Brown has never been the clear-cut number-one option on the Celtics offense. That role has belonged to either Isaiah Thomas, Kyrie Irving, or Jayson Tatum since Brown was drafted in 2016. He certainly has the ability to be a number-one option and may be curious about what that could look like on another squad.
Brown Understands His Value
Brown is in the midst of a career year, averaging 26.7 points, 6.9 rebounds, and shooting 49.1% from the field. He was selected to his second All-Star Game this season and could very well earn an All-NBA selection as well. If Brown receives that All-NBA selection, Boston has the option to offer him more money than any other team in 2024.
That said, the Celtics must decide in the near future whether he’s worth that extension and pay him top dollar or let him test free agency. Ultimately, it’s certainly possible that Brown’s comments could be a way of asserting his value and negotiating a better deal.
It’s important to remember none of this means that Brown is leaving the Celtics. He has spoken highly of the franchise and his teammates in the past and has not indicated that he is unhappy in Boston. I want to think the Celtics aren’t dumb enough to let a player of his caliber getaway, especially with the core of the roster already in place. Failing to do so would lead to losing a cornerstone player and create a ripple effect that could set the franchise back for years.
Jaylen Brown is far too important to this city and the future of the Celtics franchise.