The Boston Celtics didn’t do much during the offseason, but the moves they made were widely considered some of the best in the league. The Celtics traded for Malcolm Brogdon and signed Danilo Gallinari and Blake Griffin in free agency, all without losing key pieces of their rotation. Considering they made it to the NBA Finals without these guys last year, it’s not surprising to see people pick them as a Finals favorite entering the 2022-23 season.
The Boson Celtics appear to have avoided a catastrophe with Brown
Maybe the only thing that went wrong for the Celtics this offseason was their pursuit of Brooklyn Nets star forward Kevin Durant. It was reported that the Celtics offered a trade package centered around Jaylen Brown, which drew a lot of attention from around the league. Many believed Brown was untouchable considering how good he played during Boston’s Finals run, and were surprised to see him included in these trade talks.
There was also a concern that Brown seeing his name involved in these rumors would cause him to get upset and start plotting his path out of Boston. Luckily for the C’s, it doesn’t appear as if that is the case, as reports have filtered out that Brown understands why he was involved in those trade talks and is in a good spot with the Celtics heading into the upcoming season.
“I think Jaylen understands that it’s KD and the only trade candidate or only player they were considering trading him for was Durant. It’s not like it was a Donovan Mitchell situation. I think Jaylen understood why this was happening. I’m not getting the impression he’s playing out his deal and then looking to go elsewhere. I think he’s in a pretty good spot with the organization considering. There’s an obvious dichotomy here where Jayson Tatum was not in the talks. JT is pretty clearly untouchable. Jaylen isn’t, and he knows that.” - Jared Weiss, The HoopsHype Podcast
The Celtics need to focus on extending Brown as soon as possible
Brown’s name being involved in the Durant trade rumors could have created a sticky situation for the Celtics, but it doesn’t appear that will be the case. It would take a lot for Boston to move Brown, and Durant was likely one of a handful of players that would fall into that category. Boston didn’t actively pursue Durant once the Nets turned down their initial offer, so it wasn’t as if they were actively shopping Brown around this offseason.
Despite all of that, the Celtics should get Brown locked up on a long-term deal as soon as possible. Brown would be wise to wait until his current contract is up in order to maximize his value, but it’s worth noting he became extension eligible this offseason; we didn’t hear much on whether the Celtics made an offer or not, because even if it was, Brown likely shot it down.
The Celtics were lucky to avoid any drama with Brown considering all of the Ime Udoka troubles that have popped up lately. With Brown and Jayson Tatum leading the way, Boston should be a contender this upcoming season. Whether they will be a contender in a few years may depend on whether they can lock up Brown to a long-term deal in the future.