As of late, there has been a lot of talk by fans and media alike discussing the topic of the Boston Celtics and how they should strongly consider making some roster shakeups in order to better position themselves for a successful 2021-22 season outcome.
With the way things are currently constructed in eastern Massachusetts, the shamrocks find themselves underwhelming tremendously, as they boast a sub-.500 record of 13-14 and, in turn, are slotted in the 10th seed out in the conference standings.
Showcasing far more low points than highs through 27 games played, Boston has proven to be one of, if not the most unpredictable team in the NBA, which is certainly a tad bit shocking considering the fact that they roster a rather impressive collection of ballers.
That said, though the tandem has only managed to play 13 games together this season, for Brown has missed considerable time due to a lingering hamstring injury and an early-season contraction of COVID-19, during the times in which they’ve managed to play together they have not really been able to find their rhythm, as their record on the season together is just 6-7.
With this lackluster turnout through nearly two months played, many have begun to question just how big of a move the Boston Celtics should consider making in order to try and save their season from going down a similar path that we saw last season (a .500 finish come year’s end and a swift first-round exit via gentleman’s sweep) or, perhaps an even worse one.
From smaller moves such as trades for forgotten veterans to larger-scale transactions such as seeing the franchise take part in blockbuster deals for top-billed talents rumored to be on the block, we at the Houdini have seen just about every potential season-saving suggestion imaginable, and there are surprisingly a considerable number of pundits out there who believe the route in which the front office could take is one that involves splitting up Tatum and Brown.
Just recently, in an interview with SiriusXM NBA Radio, Bleacher Report writer, Jake Fischer, discussed this year’s struggles for the Celtics and stated that, because of their rut, he believes the end is likely near for the Jays:
"I think this is definitely the beginning of the end for the Jayson Tatum/ Jaylen Brown pairing. I don’t know if that will get broken up this season, but I think sometime in the next 12-18 months we’re really going start to hear conversations about the future of Boston with Jaylen Brown heading out the door."
Now, of course, this is most certainly not the first time we’ve seen such a topic be broached, for we’re constantly finding hypothetical trades being concocted that would send one of the Jays (mainly Brown) out of town in exchange for a borderline or true superstar player.
However, with all these breakup scenarios hitting the limelight, we at HH find ourselves constantly asking a truly polarizing question: what exactly would it take for the Boston Celtics to pull the plug on their star duo experiment?
To us, first and foremost this process would have to be sparked by the foul stench of serious desperation.
Though things seem to be bleak at this point in time, and though the front office must consider looking into making substantial moves, they have yet to reach this emotional tipping point.
Having said that, if their losing record and lackadaisical level of play continues to exist as we get closer and closer to the trade deadline, perhaps that would be enough to get Brad Stevens and co. to inch closer towards pondering on this type of franchise-altering move.
The next step, of course, would be to see what kind of return assets would be out there for one of their stars.
Often, we see names like Damian Lillard, Ben Simmons, and Bradley Beal being discussed as legitimate trade targets that the Boston Celtics would be interested in pursuing, but in almost every realistic scenario one of the Jays would have to be exchanged for their services.
Paired with Jayson Tatum, would any of these types of talents bring the team closer to contending for a championship if exchanged for Jaylen Brown?
Even pondering on Tatum’s potential returns, let’s say Boston could land, for example, Luka Doncic or Trae Young to have run alongside Brown, would this bring the Cs closer to a title?
While some may believe them to be obvious in one way or another, both of these aforementioned questions must be answered with little doubt prior to pushing forward with a theoretical foundational teardown.
Lastly, we find arguably the most important question that would need to be answered before the shamrocks should even consider breaking up the Jays: is there a way they can find a legitimate third piece to have come in and help compliment Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown?
The modern-day NBA is dominated by star power, and most teams are still struggling to find just one player who can potentially develop into a top-tier talent.
The Boston Celtics, however, find themselves with two of such players but, with how stacked some of their own conference foes are (Brooklyn Nets, Milwaukee Bucks, Chicago Bulls, etc.) it’s evident that they still need another contributor to serve in a high-end tertiary role.
What we’re getting at is, finding stars is the hardest part of trying to build a competitive roster, and the Cs have already managed to double-dip in this category.
Now, the front office must work tirelessly to try and add one more high-impact third option who can be incredibly efficient and even out some of the more glaring weaknesses found within their game.
To us at the Houdini, finding such an asset should be the team’s unquestioned top priority when looking to tweak the roster, and the journey will likely prove to be the most entertaining for there are several talents we believe could fit the bill.
From young and rising studs like point guard Dejounte Murray to one of our favorite hypothetical targets from throughout the years in center Myles Turner, there are a plethora of great complimentary players around the league that could potentially be available this season and, most importantly, it would not require swapping out either Jayson Tatum or Jaylen Brown to nab them.
At the end of the day, the goal for the Boston Celtics should be to pull out all the stops and exhaust all of their energy to make sure that they’ve done everything in their power to win with their two All-Star wings in tow.
As of this writing, we’re confident that this has yet to happen, thus leaving significant hope that the end is not near for the Jays, for there’s still plenty Brad Stevens can try before having to consider the idea of blowing things up.
That said, should the team’s decision-makers not step into action soon, this optimism could quickly start to dissipate.