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A criticism levied against the Celtics is they weren't vocal enough about dispelling rumors about their interest in trading a package centered around Jaylen Brown for Kevin Durant on the heels of the former being their leading scorer in the NBA Finals.

Of course, the organization maintained constant communication with the two-time All-Star last summer, including president of basketball operations Brad Stevens flying to Los Angeles to meet with him face-to-face.

And when rumors reignited near the trade deadline about a potential deal headlined by Brown and Durant, Celtics' owner Wyc Grousbeck reached out to the Georgia native to reassure him the franchise he's spent his entire career with has no interest in moving him.

But with Brown earning a spot on the All-NBA Second Team, and becoming eligible for a five-year, $295 million veteran supermax extension that only Boston can offer him, the question is whether the Celtics will and whether it's in their best interest.


The restrictive nature of the league's new collective bargaining agreement adds to the concern of signing Brown for that much and paying Jayson Tatum the five-year, $318 million extension he has coming to him next summer.

Those extensions would translate to Boston's star tandem taking up about 50 percent of the team's salary cap in 2023-24 and roughly 60 percent in 2024-25.

But as this author detailed while examining why the Celtics' most likely path to Banner 18 is seeing what Tatum and Brown can accomplish together in their primes, those extensions are steep but manageable, especially for the coming two campaigns.


And if, after that, the organization believes it's best to break up a duo that's reached the Eastern Conference Finals four times in their first six years together and came within two wins of a title, Brown will be 28 and have plenty of suitors.

Stevens seems to share the same mindset, stating at his end-of-season press conference, "We love our foundation. We love our core. And that's really our focus and priority."

While Boston's president of basketball operations is adept at keeping developments from leaking before they happen, he showed his hand regarding his desire to strike an extension with Brown, utilizing his time at the podium to publicly state that the Celtics view the two-time All-Star as a franchise pillar.

"I've had nothing but great conversations with Jaylen," conveyed Stevens, adding, "We want Jaylen to be here, and he's a big part of us. We believe in him."

Stevens, who expressed he's "thankful" for what Brown brings to the table, added, "I'm really thankful for, when those guys have success, they come back to work. And when they get beat, they own it, and they come back to work. So, I know that's what they're about. And that's hard to find...Those qualities, they aren't for everybody. Jaylen had a great year, (an) All-NBA year, and he's a big part of us moving forward in our eyes."

Further Reading

Brad Stevens Discusses Joe Mazzulla's First Year as Celtics' Bench Boss, Strengthening Coaching Staff: 'Joe's Experience Now, You Could Probably Measure In Dog Years'

Celtics' Coaching Staff Reportedly Undergoing Major Shakeup

Celtics' Championship Aspirations Undermined by Identity Crisis

With Partnership at Crossroads, Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum Discuss Former's Future with Celtics

Celtics Discuss Trying to Overcome Jayson Tatum's Ankle Injury in Game 7 Loss to Heat: 'A Shell of Myself'

Malcolm Brogdon Explains What Caused Boston Celtics to Miss 2023 NBA Finals

Here's What Stood Out in Game 7 Loss to Heat: Celtics Come Up Small, Enter Offseason of Uncertainty