Boston Celtics star Jaylen Brown is uncertain about his future, but head coach Joe Mazzulla has his back.
Brown, who has one year left on his $106.3 million deal with the Celtics, was asked about his stance on committing to Boston, to which the 26-year-old offered a doubtful response.
In the summer, Brown became the talk of the town, linked to rumored trade discussions involving Kevin Durant and the Brooklyn Nets. Brown also didn’t repress his feelings about the city of Boston and its issues.
Nevertheless, with the C’s on the verge of embarking on an NBA Finals run, Mazzulla fully intends to support the two-time All-Star.
“Just listen. Listen to him more than anything and see what he needs from me,” Mazzulla told reporters Thursday at team practice, per NBC Sports Boston. “I loved the conversation with him that I had, I love the relationship that we’re building, and I just gotta listen.”
Brown has taken a leadership role in becoming a more outspoken figure, touching base on social justice issues and challenging the norms that conflict with his beliefs. And while Brown’s beliefs and perspectives may not sit well with everyone, Mazzulla is taking an open-minded approach, which he values.
“Everybody has different perspectives, different passions, different backgrounds,” Mazzulla said. “And so it’s important, I think, to appreciate those because we all have them.”
As he was last season, Brown has remained a crucial piece of Boston’s redemption run at returning to the NBA Finals. He’s averaging career-high numbers across the board, scoring 26.7 points with 6.9 rebounds while shooting 49.2% from the field.
Brown is set to become an unrestricted free agent in 2024.