Jayson Tatum said he wants Jaylen Brown back. Brad Stevens “without a doubt” wants Brown to stick around. But at some point, the Boston Celtics have to look in the mirror and ask themselves the hard questions. If this group hasn’t been good enough to win a title yet, what is going to change in the future?
This Celtics group has grown up together, and the trio of Marcus Smart, Jayson Tatum, and Brown have been to the Eastern Conference Finals five times in seven series. Is that a reason to keep the band together (no other team has matched that level of consistency other than the Golden State Warriors) or to acknowledge that it’s not working? The definition of insanity, after all, is going the same things over and over and expecting a different outcome.
Who would the Boston Celtics trade Jaylen Brown for?
If the Celtics do trade Brown, then, who makes sense as a trade suitor? The answer is likely most of the league. For all that he has very obvious flaws as an on-ball playmaker and shot-creator, Brown is still a high-end two-way wing who just made Second Team All-NBA. Nearly every team in the league could use another one of those.
The Celtics have to figure out what they are looking for. If they are looking to solve their most significant problem in trading Brown, then dealing for an All-Star point guard makes sense. Do they try to reset their timeline by dealing for a top draft pick?
Perhaps there is a middle road, getting younger and adding an on-ball scoring talent. The Golden State Warriors represent an intriguing trade partner; could the Celtics really make a deal with last year’s NBA Finals opponent and move on from a franchise pillar?