Boston Celtics: A blockbuster Jaylen Brown offseason trade for Ja Morant

Hardwood Houdini comes up with a blockbuster deal to bring Ja Morant to the Boston Celtics. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Hardwood Houdini comes up with a blockbuster deal to bring Ja Morant to the Boston Celtics. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /

The Boston Celtics play the Memphis Grizzlies on the road in their 2021-22 NBA season swan song and, in a situation perfect for the league, postseason seeding is on the line for the Cs. Neither will be putting their best foot forward, though, aiming instead to rest their starters ahead of the postseason.

Ultimately, playoff play will be the determining factor for whether or not Boston was ever good enough to compete in the Eastern Conference for Banner 18…not game No. 82.  In general, the future is a more interesting place to look regarding these two teams than an ultimately meaningless regular-season finale.

So with that in mind, let’s look into a distant future beyond even the 2022 NBA postseason.

Specifically, let’s take a look at the summer of 2022, and let’s also put on far-from-rose-colored sunglasses.

It’s possible for the Celtics to fall apart at the finish line after a meteoric rise to the top of the standings this calendar year. The wrong postseason matchup could certainly do the trick.

What does that look like? The Brooklyn Nets (for obvious Kevin Durant-related reasons) and the Cleveland Cavaliers, who are big enough already but even scarier without Robert Williams.

The Memphis Grizzlies is an interesting case study considering their similar league standing to the Celtics.

Memphis similarly rose meteorically during the season’s second half but can also be due for a letdown. Losing early in the postseason is far from the same level of damning for Memphis as it would be in Beantown. That said, either (or both) of these teams losing in the first-round should prompt a phone call.

Perhaps to each other.

Today, Hardwood Houdini explores the dream scenario in which the Grizzlies’ best player Ja Morant lands with the Celtics by trade:

Why the Boston Celtics do it

This move solidifies the starting five around Jayson Tatum, putting him back in the power forward spot he thrived in during the 2019-20 season full time. Ja Morant would be the pick-and-pop superstar complement to Tatum that arguably elevates the team’s ceiling. Keeping Marcus Smart keeps that ceiling high, while recouping Dillon Brooks and Steven Adams softens the blow of the Jaylen Brown/Robert Williams losses.

When it comes to win-now moves, few get more aggressive than this one from the Celtics’ side of the negotiating table.

Why the Memphis Grizzlies do it

Are the Grizzlies sure Desmond Bane isn’t the guy to build around on Memphis’ roster? Bane has exploded as a legitimate top option this season, even alongside De’Anthony Melton when Ja Morant was out with an injury.

This deal adds assets to the treasure chest and brings win-now pieces (Jaylen Brown, Robert Williams) while providing youth (Payton Pritchard, Aaron Nesmith) and two future first-round picks.

If the Grizzlies are happy with what they saw from a Morant-less group this past season, then this deal moves them forward long-term while also potentially doing so in the short-term.

Next. The Celtics' stance on a Dillon Brooks trade. dark