Now that all the James Harden drama has finally been settled as he’s finally on his way to the Brooklyn Nets, the conversation has now shifted to whether or not the teams who didn’t aggressively trade for him did the right thing. One of the teams that were included in trade talks for the former MVP was the Boston Celtics, who apparently didn’t want to part ways with Jaylen Brown.
To even have a Harden deal on the table, the Celtics needed to make one of their superstars available. Given that Jayson Tatum just signed a maximum extension worth $195 million, all eyes shifted to Brown. But according to Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated (via NBC Sports), the young forward was virtually untouchable as per Celtics general manager Danny Ainge.
“Under no circumstances, if you’re Boston do you make any kind of offer that includes Jaylen Brown. That was really the Celtics’ mindset for the last couple of months. There was no significant interest in a deal that involved Jaylen Brown. The Celtics are simply operating on a completely different timetable than the Brooklyn Nets. Their stars are Kevin Durant at 32 (years old) and Kyrie Irving at 29. You’ve got the Celtics with (Marcus) Smart, (Jayson) Tatum, Brown, a whole bunch of younger guys they’re trying to develop in their mid to early 20s.”
The 24-year-old Brown has been on a tear so far this season and a potential to grab an upstart like him would’ve definitely been attractive for the Houston Rockets. In 10 games, Brown is averaging a career-high 26.3 points per game while adding 6.2 rebounds, 3.5 assists, and 1.7 steals.
With Tatum and Brown leading the way for the young Celtics, it was clear that Ainge didn’t want to break their young core to grab Harden. Fans now just have to keep their faith that their young duo will be worth the wait.