The Boston Celtics are in a position of strength — and have no intention of relinquishing it.
The Celtics reportedly are one of several teams “fully engaged” with the San Antonio Spurs in trade talks involving star forward Kawhi Leonard. But those Spurs-Celtics talks haven’t involved Jaylen Brown, according to The Boston Globe’s Gary Washburn, who reports Boston is taking a “conservative approach” in its dealings with San Antonio.
Brown has been featured in a few hypothetical Spurs-Celtics trades for Leonard, and with good reason. He’s one of Boston’s top assets: an athletic, 21-year-old wing who more than doubled his scoring output from his rookie season (6.6 points per game) to his sophomore campaign (14.5 points per game) and appears fast-tracked for a long, successful NBA career.
The Celtics likely would need to give up at least one player of Brown’s caliber (in addition to future draft picks) to acquire Leonard, one of the NBA’s top 10 players when healthy. But as ESPN’s Zach Lowe suggested in a recent column, that might not be in Danny Ainge’s best interest, considering Brown’s rapidly increasing upside and the notable red flags surrounding Leonard.
If Ainge and Co. aren’t willing to include Brown, Jayson Tatum or Kyrie Irving in deal for Leonard, it probably isn’t getting done, unless San Antonio has a strong fondness for Terry Rozier. But according to the latest reports, the Celtics may be just fine with letting talks die on the grapevine.
Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images
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