Why Jaylen Brown, Celtics shouldn't have an issue over Durant reports


Nobody wants to feel like they're not wanted, and in that respect, we can understand why Jaylen Brown may have been a little peeved last week.

The Athletic's Shams Charania reported last Monday that the Celtics offered Brown to the Nets as part of a trade package for superstar forward Kevin Durant, and that Brooklyn countered with its own Brown-centric offer, which Boston declined.

Brown didn't seem particularly thrilled by that report, tweeting "Smh" (aka "shaking my head") shortly after the report came out. According to follow-up reports, however, Brown is "happy" in Boston and looking forward to running it back with the Celtics after their run to the NBA Finals.

Report: Durant to meet with Nets owner as trade rumors slow

As longtime NBA reporter Jackie MacMullan explained Tuesday on NBC Sports Boston's Early Edition, that'd be a rational mindset for Brown to adopt.

While MacMullan acknowledged that it "always hurts" to hear your name in trade discussions, she pointed out that Brown's situation doesn't compare to that of Ray Allen during the 2011-12 season.

"People never understood why Ray Allen left the Celtics. I understood exactly why, because they were actively trading to trade him, and in the end, they didn't," MacMullan said.

"The Celtics aren't actively trying to trade Jaylen Brown. One of the generational players, Kevin Durant, is available. You'd be a fool not to investigate it. (President of basketball operations) Brad Stevens isn't doing his job if he doesn't investigate it."

According to MacMullan, the Celtics made a concerted effort to move Allen prior to the 2012 NBA trade deadline, which made Allen feel unwanted and motivated him to sign with the rival Miami Heat in 2012 free agency.

This situation is different, MacMullan says; the Celtics still think highly of Brown and merely are doing their due diligence on one of the best players in NBA history. 

"'Oh my gosh, we don't want Jaylen Brown, we want to trade him' -- that's not what's going on here," MacMullan said. "(The Celtics) did try to trade Ray Allen. They can deny it all they want.

"In the end they didn't, and then they were shocked when he was bruised enough to say, 'I'm going to move on and go to the team that's going to help beat you.' Those are two different scenarios to me."

Brown does have just two seasons left on his contract, so if the Celtics believe they may lose him in 2024 free agency, that's something they have to consider in any Durant discussions. But the reality is that any Durant trade with Boston would have to include Brown (and likely much more).

So, even if Stevens and Co. wanted to just check in on Durant -- who nearly signed with the C's in 2016 free agency -- then Brown's name was bound to come up in discussions.

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