There is currently a lot of speculation on whether or not star Celtics player Jaylen Brown will sign an extension with the team as his current deal is set to expire in 2024. Many NBA analysts believe that Brown will not re-sign and the rumors swirling about this possible Celtics breakup have only heated up by Brown's recent comments earlier this week on The Ringer podcast.
C/O to Complex.com
When Logan Murdock of The Ringer asked Brown if he plans to stay in Boston long-term, Brown gave a non-committal response. "I don't know. As long 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."
This prompted NBA Central Twitter account to put out a tweet regarding the Atlanta Hawks "monitoring" the situation between Brown and the Celtics per Sean Deveney of Heavy.com.
C/O t Twitter.com
While this is obviously not exactly what Celtics fans want to hear about their star player, I am not sure if this is a time to panic just yet. If Brown comes out and says that he wants to stay in Boston and that he'll sign whatever they offer him, he loses leverage. As we all know, things in the NBA move fast and things can change on a dime in a matter of a couple of seasons, so it's a smart move by Brown to keep the upper hand here.
However with that being said, let's just get this out of the way now:
Dear Jaylen Brown, please stay in Boston. Please.
To me, the concern isn't with what Brown said on The Ringer podcast. I can see where he is coming from as the smart business man that he is and honestly I would not even fully trust if he did in fact answer Murdock's question with a resounding "Yes! I want to stay in Boston forever!" Remember what happened when Kyrie Irving told everyone he would stay in Boston? I still have trust issues, I'm healing.
The thing that worries me is what has surrounded Jaylen Brown for the past 12 or so months.
Last summer, Brown was offered in a potential deal for Kevin Durant and was rightfully unhappy about it. He questioned the loyalty of the franchise that has been building the entire roster around him and current star teammate in Jayson Tatum. There were still some trade rumors surrounding him as the NBA trade deadline loomed closer this season regarding a potential move for Durant before he was ultimately traded to the Phoenix Suns.
Let's not forget too that back during the NBA Finals in June, Jaylen Brown liked a tweet that said, "Jaylen Brown is so disrespected by Celtics fans."
C/O to bleacherreport.com
On top of that, in a recent article in The New York Times written by Sopan Deb, Brown got into details about his experiences living in Boston. He stated that he has felt some "adversity" in doing things such as buying a house or even starting a potential business. He also told Deb in the interview that his "experience there has been not as fluid" as he thought it would be.
Brown also discussed the Celtics fan base in The New York Times interview in which he was asked if he has ever experienced any negative treatment by C's Faithful. "I have, but I pretty much block it all out," Brown told The New York Times. "It's not the whole Celtic fan base, but it is a part of the fan base that exists within the Celtic nation that is problematic. If you have a bad game, they tie it to your personal character."
These different instances that have occurred in Brown's now seven seasons here in Boston are what make me nervous about him staying long term. I am glad that he mentioned that it is not all of the Celtics' fan base that mistreat him because I know many Celtics fans that want to see him in green for the remainder of his career, myself included.
It is not a hot take by any means to say that the Celtics need Brown. A two-way forward with size and speed is the most important position in a current "position-less" NBA. The two-time All-Star is having himself a career year this season, averaging 27 points and 7 rebounds to go along with shooting 34% from three. His contributions are something that will surely be missed if him and the Celtics cannot get a deal done in the offseason.
C/O to Boston.com
I would hate to see this become similar to that earlier Oklahoma City Thunder squad that sprouted young Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant, and James Harden. A team that had all the potential in the world, but could not get over the hump to a ring and ultimately saw Harden go to the Houston Rockets as he wanted to be the main guy on a team.
Perhaps then, a championship would quiet down these rumors swirling around Brown. At the very least, it would not add more fuel to the fire. Winning fixes a lot of things in sports and a city that's nicknamed "Titletown" is no exception.
As mentioned before, I am not Code Red Panic Mode on the possibility of Brown leaving. He knows his value and smartly wants to keep his leverage. For now, I will warn fellow Celtics' fans that are unclear of just how valuable Brown is to this team to stop berating him and putting him in mindless, hypothetical trades.
I also just want to reiterate and make my prior stance perfectly clear:
Dear Jaylen Brown, please stay in Boston. Please.
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- W. Monast