Whether or not the Boston Celtics follow through on the reported trade talks for Kevin Durant, it’s fair to assume Jaylen Brown isn’t thrilled about seeing his name in headlines.
Brown cryptically tweeted “Smh” on Monday morning after likely waking up to reports he was included in a trade offer for the Brooklyn Nets superstar. The Nets reportedly deemed the Celtics’ package including Brown, Derrick White and draft capital as insufficient.
The mere fact Brown was mentioned in those reports, though, could be damning for the Celtics. We’re talking about reports from two of the most tied-in NBA reporters in ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and The Athletic’s Shams Charnia. Players know those are reports and not merely speculation.
And the fact they’re now public might result in a fractured relationship between Brown and the organization, regardless of whether those reported talks lead to an actual trade. It’s seemingly created initial frustration from Brown, and those feelings could linger.
Could this be the beginning of the end when it comes to Brown’s tenure in Boston? It feels possible.
Brown is under contract for just two more seasons, as he is set to be an unrestricted free agent entering his age-28 campaign. The one-time NBA All-Star has not indicated he’s looking to play elsewhere once his contract is up — Brown actually stood by the Celtics more than others prior to their remarkable in-season turnaround — but Monday’s developments don’t bode well for a contract extension or long-term relationship.
After all, NBA stars, similar to many professional athletes, oftentimes are quick to reflect on things that might have made them feel slighted by an organization. These types of blockbuster reports follow both the player and the team. Brown seemingly indicated Monday he felt that way, especially considering the 25-year-old was a monumental piece in the Celtics reaching the NBA Finals earlier this summer.
It begs the question: Where do the Celtics go from here?
The Celtics organization, which seemed poised to compete for NBA championships throughout the next decade with Jayson Tatum and Brown, two players who’ve shared their appreciation for playing together, now might have frustrated one of its franchise pillars.
It seems like the Celtics are at a point of no return when it comes to a potential Durant trade. They can offer more than anyone else for the 34-year-old, and ultimately sending Brown — which wasn’t previously viewed as the right move by many — now might be the only play Boston has left.
Because the only thing worse than losing out on Durant at this point would be watching KD get traded elsewhere while simultaneously pushing Brown out the door due to your own pursuit.