If the Boston Celtics had dealt Jaylen Brown ahead of the NBA trade deadline, it would have meant team co-owner Wyc Grousbeck went against his word.
Brown's name surfaced briefly in trade chatter earlier this month after Kyrie Irving's surprising trade to the Dallas Mavericks, which many assumed would lead to the Brooklyn Nets trading Kevin Durant as well. ESPN's Stephen A. Smith fanned those flames during a Feb. 6 episode of "First Take," suggesting that the Celtics had been "making some calls" about Durant and that Brown was a name to watch in trade talks.
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It seemed hard to imagine Boston breaking up the NBA's best young duo in Brown and Jayson Tatum, who had powered the Celtics to the league's best record at that point. Still, some worried that the rumors may have an impact on Brown.
It sounds like Grousbeck took matters into his own hands, though, telling Brown himself prior to the deadline that the team wouldn't trade him.
"I mean, (Celtics president of basketball operations) Brad (Stevens) is probably on the phone with every team, definitely every week during the season, just saying, 'Who do you like? Who’s playing well? Who do you like on our roster?'" Grousbeck said Friday on WEEI's "The Greg Hill Show." "And he files it away in like his mental database. That’s just that. They talk all the time about everything. That doesn’t mean a trade is proposed.
"Jaylen’s not going anywhere, and he knew that before the trading deadline because I told him personally."
It's encouraging to hear that Grousbeck gave Brown some peace of mind entering the trade deadline, and any speculation ended when Brooklyn dealt Durant to the Phoenix Suns on Feb. 9. There are plenty of other reasons for Brown to feel good about where he's at, as well: The 26-year-old is averaging career highs in points per game (26.5), rebounds per game (7.0) and field goal percentage (48.7) and recently earned his second NBA All-Star nod in three seasons.
Brown has been sidelined since Feb. 8 due to a facial fracture but is expected to return after the All-Star break and play a significant role in the Celtics' quest for Banner 18.