Sports Illustrated’s Chris Mannix dropped a nuke on Boston Celtics fans during NBC Sports Boston’s Early Edition.
After the new President of Basketball Operations, Brad Stevens, dealt Kemba Walker for Al Horford hired Ime Udoka, the next logical step figured to be finding a deal for the C’s other guard (Marcus Smart) who has the opportunity to hit free agency in 2022.
Mannix mentioned Smart perhaps having a trade value of a 2021 first-round pick in the 7-9 range. Considering Cs owner Wyc Grousbeck expects more trade fireworks this July, all eyes were on the longest-tenured Celtic playing on a new team for the very first time.
Instead, the focus has shifted to a potential Jaylen Brown deal after Mannix said this (transcript via NESN):
"“One would be Bradley Beal, who has to make a decision of his own the next couple weeks if he wants to sign that extension with (the) Washington (Wizards),” Mannix said during an appearance on NBC Sports Boston’s “Early Edition.” “If he doesn’t, that’s tantamount to a trade request and he can become available. And we all know at this point about the relationship between Bradley Beal and Jayson Tatum.”"
"“The other is Damian Lillard. It’s still very much up in the air, Lillard’s future in Portland (with the Trail Blazers.),” Mannix said. “If in the coming weeks the Blazers decide that they have to trade Damian Lillard, I think Boston would be in a pretty good position to make a strong offer that would have to include Jaylen Brown. So, you don’t just move him to shake things up, but if one of those two players becomes available I think you have to look long and hard about trading Jaylen Brown.”"
So, with the two targets named, let’s play an HH favorite…Pass or pursue: