Boston Celtics came close to trading Jaylen Brown for Kevin Durant after playoff frustrations - footballivenews
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Boston Celtics came close to trading Jaylen Brown for Kevin Durant after playoff frustrations



Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum combined for 52 points in Boston’s Game 5 win on Monday, one last dominant showing from the Celtics’ fearsome duo as the illustrious franchise eliminated Dallas to clinch a 19th NBA Finals trophy.

Trading turns in the spotlight all season long, Brown and Tatum each earned an All-Star nomination and averaged at least 23 points per game in leading Boston to its second-winningest campaign since 1985. But this triumphant pairing nearly broke apart ahead of their championship run, with rumors swirling that Brown would be traded for Phoenix star Kevin Durant last season.

“I’m hearing that [Durant]’s on the verge of potentially being moved out, as we’ve all been speculating about that, that he may be moved,” ESPN host Stephen A. Smith ahead of the 2023 trade deadline on First Take. “On the phone, I’m hearing Boston has been making some calls. Keep your eye on that. Jaylen Brown. Keep your eye on that.”

Brown’s eventual rise to NBA stardom was well envisioned by high school recruiting analysts, graded as the fifth-best high-school prospect in the 2015 class, but the famously bright basketball star opted to spend his lone college season at academic powerhouse Cal. A 14.6-point scoring average saw Brown selected third overall in the following year’s NBA Draft and he broke out at the professional level in his second season.

Despite averaging better than 20 points per game in each of the last four seasons, Brown was featured frequently in trade rumors and expressed skepticism about his long-term future with the Celtics. “I don’t know. As long as I’m needed,” Brown said. “It’s not up to me. We’ll see how they feel about me over time and I feel about them over time. Hopefully, whatever it is, it makes sense. But I will stay where I’m wanted. I will stay where I’m needed and treated correct.”