All summer long the talk of the town has been how the Boston Celtics could become a realistic trading destination for the likes of Nets star Kevin Durant.
With its major draw to 25-year-old star wing Jaylen Brown, many consider the C’s the franchise that could offer Brooklyn the most enticing package for the wing, and reports have even surfaced that Brad Stevens and co. were also interested in such an exchange at one point (subscription required).
At this point, it appears that such a move is unlikely to be made as both Brown and Boston appear to be “completely committed” to pursuing a championship in 2022-23, which is great news for fans to hear as they not too keen on the idea of seeing the forward going direction.
While Brown may not be city-bound anytime soon, NBA Analysis Network’s James Piercey recently proposed a hypothetical transaction that would send him to Salt Lake City for another star currently living on the trading bloc.
That player: Donovan Mitchell.
The specific flesh of Piercey’s trade is quite simple, as it is an outright swap between the two youngsters mentioned above.
Citing the belief of many that the combination of Tatum and Brown is somewhat redundant for the Boston Celtics, with their similar playing styles and the fact that they play essentially the same position, Piercey believes that this proposed trade for Mitchell “will change their floor balance.” would improve.”
As it stands, Tatum and Brown are functionally very similar players. Admittedly, Tatum added some pass to his game, perhaps specifically to suit Brown. That speaks to his work ethic and potential to grow as a player.
That said, its handle is still a little shaky. Tatum and Brown are both three-level scorers, but that common weakness in their game keeps them from cutting to the brim at will.
Mitchell, on the other hand, does not share that trait. His combination of speed and ball control allows him to make a layup attempt whenever he wants. He would give a dynamism to this Celtics attack that neither Brown nor Tatum are capable of.
Now, to an extent, Piercey has a point with his claim of redundancy between both Tatum’s and Brown’s play, and in turn, swapping the latter for Mitchell could help round out the team’s rotation better from the point of view of a complementary play style.
That said, despite this “overlap,” the Jays managed to lead the Boston Celtics to incredible success during their five-year tenure together and recently led the team to the 2022 NBA Finals, while achieving a combined average of 50.5 points, 14.1 rebounds, 7.9 assists and 2.1 steals with 46 percent shooting from the floor and 35 percent shooting from the depths.
Mitchell, while certainly an established star in this league, has yet to show that he is fully capable of leading a team well into a ‘postseason’, with just two second-round appearances in his career and, most recently, he was sent off in the first round while making hugely inefficient efforts (39.8 percent shooting from the floor and 20.8 percent shooting from the depth).
We here at the Houdini aren’t too open to the idea of Brown being unloaded this off-season, even for someone of Kevin Durant’s caliber. That said, if you could bring in a young stallion in return that has a higher advantage than the C’s wing, we might be more open to seeing such a move.
While there’s no arguing that Mitchell deserves the young star moniker given his post-season failings, lack of defensive skills and, frankly, his rather short stature (measures in at just 6-1), we’re by no means convinced that he is a higher ceiling player than the current star two of the C.
For this reason, NAN’s proposal of a simple trade from Brown for Spida doesn’t make much sense for the Boston Celtics to entertain.