Brad Stevens might not have laughed at Daryl Morey when the 76ers president of basketball operations reportedly reached out to his Celtics counterpart to offer Ben Simmons in a trade for Jaylen Brown, but it sure sounds like talks between Boston and Philadelphia didn’t get very far.
The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported earlier this week the Celtics had engaged in conversations with the 76ers about a deal involving Simmons, who’s been the subject of trade rumors in recent weeks, and that Philadelphia wanted Brown in return. Subsequent reports threw cold water on the rumor, and Charania on Thursday shed more light on the discussions that took place.
“Daryl Morey, when he goes and wants players on other teams like Jaylen Brown and Damian Lillard and Bradley Beal — those are the types of players that Daryl Morey and Philadelphia have prioritized, to go get a guy like Ben Simmons,” Charania said on “The Pat McAfee Show.” ” … So yes, the Celtics did engage the Sixers on Ben Simmons and had conversations, but those conversations weren’t something that the Celtics wanted to acquiesce to.
“When it comes to Jaylen Brown, they didn’t want to move Jaylen Brown for Ben Simmons. So unless Philadelphia gets more realistic, they’re not going to get what they want out of this possible scenario.”
There’s no denying Simmons’ talent, shooting issues notwithstanding. He’s an excellent distributor and defender, and a change of scenery could work wonders for the three-time All-Star, who wants out of Philadelphia after spending his first five seasons with the 76ers.
But Brown, selected two picks behind Simmons at No. 3 overall in the 2016 NBA Draft, has shown steady improvement in his five seasons with the C’s. It’s hard to imagine Boston being interested in such a swap, especially given the motivational concerns currently surrounding the Sixers star.
“When it came to Philadelphia being hard-charged on getting Jaylen Brown in any scenario, yeah, I think it ended being like, ‘We?re not listening,'” Charania said. “But the call started with an engagement from Boston. You’re trying to figure out a package. But again, there’s really not a deal construct — Marcus Smart, guys like that, but that’s not going to fulfill what Philadelphia is looking for and what they wanted.”
Boston someday might need to shuffle its core, as Brown and Jayson Tatum so far haven’t been able to bring the franchise to new heights. Just don’t expect any seismic shift to involve a Brown-for-Simmons trade, even though it’s an incredibly juicy rumor early on in this 2021-22 NBA season.