The Boston Celtics have assembled what might be the best starting five in the NBA. But the cost was the departure of several core veterans.
In the process of acquiring All-Stars Kristaps Porzingis and Jrue Holiday this offseason, Celtics president of basketball operations Brad Stevens parted with the team's longest-tenured player, Marcus Smart, in addition to seasoned veteran Malcolm Brogdon, vocal forward Grant Williams and talented big man Robert Williams.
Smart and Grant Williams in particular were prominent voices in Boston's locker room last season, while the Celtics also will miss the respected presence of Blake Griffin (barring any last-minute change of heart). So, whose voices will carry the most in the C's locker room this season?
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All-Star wing Jaylen Brown, who is now Boston's longest-tenured player following Smart's exit, suggested he'll be speaking up more often.
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"I don't know, you might see me -- it might be a little different this year. I don't mind (raising my voice)," Brown told co-hosts Marc D'Amico, Amanda Pflugrad and Eddie House on NBC Sports Boston's Celtics Media Day show Monday.
Brown's answer came after D'Amico noted he and Jayson Tatum typically aren't the players "screaming" on the court or in the locker room. But as Brown and Tatum enter their eighth and seventh seasons, respectively, Brown seems eager to fill the leadership void that Smart left behind.
"I always want go with the flow of the team," Brown added. "We've always had a lot of voices going on in the locker room, and even last year, we had Grant, Blake, Smart -- all very vocal guys.
"So, you don't always want to overstep or say too much, but I think this year we've got more quieter guys, so I think there is some room for some voices to speak up. And I don't mind being one of them."
The Celtics are loaded on paper with a top six of Tatum, Brown, Holiday, Porzingis, Derrick White and Al Horford. They're the clear co-favorites to win the NBA title alongside the Milwaukee Bucks, who added All-Star point guard Damian Lillard in the trade that led to Boston landing Holiday. But teams don't win titles without strong leadership and good chemistry, and Brown and Tatum will need to lead that charge as the unquestioned leaders of this team.
"I'm excited to help lead my team as far as we can possibly go," Brown said. "I'm ready to win. I'm ready to challenge. I'm ready to lead. It's great being here."
Watch Brown's full interview with NBC Sports Boston from Celtics Media Day in the YouTube video below.