Celtics

Kendrick Perkins: Ainge called about Jaylen-Harden trade

Celtics

Jaylen Brown's name has been thrown around in trade rumors throughout his young NBA career. But as he begins Year 6, it's clear the Boston Celtics have plans to keep the All-Star in green for a long time.

Last season it was rumored the Celtics were in talks with the Houston Rockets on a trade that would involve Brown and superstar guard James Harden. Ultimately, then-C's president of basketball operations Danny Ainge decided against parting ways with the 24-year-old.

Former Celtics big man Kendrick Perkins recalled a phone call he had with Ainge last year amid those trade talks.

"I remember last year around this time when teams were calling about James Harden and Houston actually wanted Jaylen Brown," Perkins said Friday on Celtics Pregame Live. "I was on the phone with Danny Ainge for an hour, and I remember how our conversation went. He was like, 'Hey, Perk, would you trade Jaylen Brown for James Harden?' And I was like, 'Danny, you know how I feel about Jaylen Brown, but I would trade him for James Harden.' He was like, ' Are you kidding me? He's not going anywhere. He's not even 25 and he keeps getting better.'

"And then all of a sudden, Danny didn't make the trade, [Jaylen] made the All-Star team, had a breakout year, and now he just keeps getting better. Jaylen Brown is a true professional, he works hard, and people say he's under-appreciated, but I would say people appreciate him now."

 

While there's no denying Harden's status as one of the NBA's elite players, Brown only continues to improve with each season. He took another leap in 2020-21 with a career-high 24.7 points per game and 48.4 shooting percentage.

With Brown blossoming into one of the NBA's best, don't expect him to be involved in trade rumors any time soon. Sports Illustrated's Chris Mannix added that the Celtics -- now led in the front office by former head coach Brad Stevens -- aren't interested in shopping their prized wing.

"Boston's willingness to move Jaylen Brown has diminished significantly by the year, where once he would've been the centerpiece in say an Anthony Davis deal, now he's closing in on virtually untouchable status," Mannix said. "And that's a credit to Jaylen Brown's work ethic."