During a Friday radio appearance, Boston Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck revealed that he personally told star Jaylen Brown that he wasn’t going to be traded for Kevin Durant.
— The Greg Hill Show (@TheGregHillShow) February 17, 2023
“We don’t talk about private stuff on the air about contracts or anything like that,” Grousbeck said. “What happens in the league is agents or other teams — I mean, Brad [Stevens] is on the phone with every team, definitely every week during the season. Just saying, ‘Who do you like? Who is playing well? Who do you like on our roster?’ He files it away in his mental database. That’s just that. They talk all the time about everything, it doesn’t mean a trade is proposed. Jaylen is not going anywhere. He knew that before the trade deadline because I told him personally.”
Grousbeck kept his word, as the Celtics did not make a deal for Durant at the deadline. Instead, the Brooklyn Nets sent the superstar scorer to the Phoenix Suns for a package that included Mikal Bridges, Cameron Johnson and several first-round picks.
It’s hard not to be enticed by the possibility of adding a player of Durant’s pedigree, but the Celtics clearly know that they have a championship-caliber team already with Brown and Jayson Tatum leading the way.
Last season, the Celtics made the NBA Finals after earning the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference. They were matched up with Durant and the Nets in the first round of the playoffs, but they made quick work of them, sweeping the series.
Boston has terrific chemistry within its roster, as most of the team’s players are homegrown. Tatum, Brown, Marcus Smart, Robert Williams III, Grant Williams and Payton Pritchard have all spent their entire NBA careers in Boston.
This season, Brown was named to the All-Star Game for the second time in his career. He’s averaging 26.5 points, 7.0 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game while shooting 48.7 percent from the field and 33.1 percent from beyond the arc.
Grousbeck and the Celtics clearly value what he brings to the table alongside Tatum. Considering that Boston has the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference entering the All-Star break, it makes sense that the team didn’t want to mess with a good thing.
This should also help Boston down the line, as Brown’s contract is up following the 2023-24 season. By assuring him that he’s not going to be traded, the Celtics could be building up some goodwill between their star player and the franchise to make sure that he doesn’t leave the team in free agency following next season.
Boston’s focus seems to be solely on getting back to the NBA Finals, and the team has a great chance to do that this season with how it has played so far.