It’s unlikely the Boston Celtics ever came close to trading Jaylen Brown.
Even though he endured some struggles this past season, forcing him into a reserve role with the Celtics, Brown still is highly regarded within the organization. This is especially evident now that Boston figures to proceed with a core comprised of Brown and Jayson Tatum after whiffing on a trade for Anthony Davis.
“We tried to engage them on trading for Jaylen earlier this past season when it seemed he had fallen out of favor, wasn’t starting and all that stuff,” an Eastern Conference player personnel executive recently told NBC Sports Boston. “You go in knowing the asking price will be high at the start; that’s how it is with most teams you’re looking to partner with in acquiring one of their players. But in our conversations with them … they weren’t looking to move Jaylen. The only way that was happening was if it was one of those no-brainer trades where they landed a proven player with star-like talent.”
Brown, who turns 23 in October, is coming off his third season with the Celtics after being selected with the third overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft. The talented swingman had an up-and-down campaign, ultimately averaging 13.0 points per game for the regular season, but came on strong down the stretch.
One certainly could argue the Celtics dropped the ball by not trading Brown in a deal for Kawhi Leonard, who just led the Toronto Raptors to their first championship in franchise history following an offseason trade from the San Antonio Spurs. But it’s obvious Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge has tremendous faith in his young players — namely Brown and Tatum — as Boston prepares to lose Kyrie Irving in free agency.
We’ll find out soon enough whether Ainge’s confidence is justified or an instance of him becoming too attached to his own players.