The Celtics are 14-14 one season after finishing 36-36 with a first-round playoff exit. There's hope for a turnaround this year if Brown's nagging hamstring injury is behind him, but is the All-Star duo running out of time to show what it can do?
While a trade involving one of their stars remains unlikely, there's been plenty of chatter about the Celtics eventually moving on from "The Jays" to begin a new chapter. Of course, such a deal would require some big names in return. So, is breaking up the Tatum/Brown duo a realistic solution? Who would the C's even target in that kind of trade?
ESPN's Nick Friedell joined Chris Forsberg on the latest episode of the Celtics Talk Podcast to discuss.
"I don't know if you have two wings that young who are that talented if you want to break it up," Friedell said. "If you add that next piece, I don't know who it is. That's the other issue. Who are the stars that are readily available? Like, if you threw Damian Lillard on this team, are you better? You have Damian Lillard, sure, but are you that much closer to where you wanna go? No.
"The name that pops out to me, and he's not on the market that we know of, but what about Karl-Anthony Towns? I would think he would fit better with what's in place. But what would you have to give up to get him if Minnesota even went down that lane? Other than that, this is a star-driven league, it always has been, the Celtics have two really good young players. What I would say to Celtics fans is as good as they are, do you trust that they are two star-caliber players that can potentially contend for a title down the line? Do you trust that those two at the top of your team can get you there?"
Forsberg doesn't see that breakup happening any time soon, especially given the lack of reasonable options on the trade market.
"If you could find another shooter at the 4 spot that's a perfect fit then OK, maybe you have the right mix with the starter group. You probably need some help coming off the bench. And so, Brad Stevens has to figure out what are those pieces," Forsberg said.
"They're in this weird spot where they're really trying to figure it out. Sometimes in the past, the Celtics would need this one piece, I sit here and I say 'I don't know.' Like, I don't know what the pieces are. I just know they're going to try everything possible to make it work with The Jays before they even get to that bridge, and I think that's a bridge way down the road."
Also in the new episode: How Steph Curry and the Warriors have returned to their throne as a title contender. A national view of what's going on with the Celtics this season. A big-picture look at the Eastern Conference. And an exclusive interview with Grant Williams.