We wouldn't blame Jaylen Brown for feeling a bit unsettled this offseason.
Shortly after news broke that Kevin Durant had requested a trade from the Nets, reports revealed the Boston Celtics offered Brown, Derrick White and a draft pick to Brooklyn in return for the superstar forward. The Nets reportedly turned down the deal, but for much of the past two months, we've heard constant speculation about the Celtics potentially acquiring Durant with Brown as the centerpiece of the deal.
Brown didn't seem thrilled with the whole situation earlier this summer, tweeting "smh" as trade speculation ramped up. But the 25-year-old reportedly is in a good place with the team and eager to run it back with Boston in 2022-23.
Grant Williams may have played a role in shaping Brown's positive mindset. The Celtics forward told The Boston Globe's Adam Himmelsbach he "checked in" with Brown and came away "confident" that Brown won't let the trade talk get to him.
"It’s one of those things you can’t really be discouraged by," Williams told Himmelsbach. "I feel like we love JB, everyone here in Boston, everyone on the team. And it kind of shows how valuable he is, the fact that a top-10 player in the world [could be traded], and you’re the focal point?"
A Celtics package centered around Brown reportedly is considered the best deal the Nets can get for Durant, which is a testament to Brown's talent. He's already one of the NBA's best two-way players and is entering the heart of his prime with two seasons remaining on his contract.
It's looking more likely that a Durant deal doesn't go through, however, with Brooklyn reportedly holding out for a very high price for their superstar, who is under contract through the next four seasons. And while Brown seemingly would feel happy about staying with the C's, Williams believes his teammate will also use this summer as motivation to elevate his game even further.
"[Brown is] going to take it with a competitive mindset, too," Williams said. "I think that he’s going to come back with a chip on his shoulder and I love that, because I know how he responds and he’s going to be very, very, secure, because he’s secure in himself."
The Celtics will need a very motivated Brown and Jayson Tatum if they want to return to the NBA Finals after losing to the Golden State Warriors in six games. Judging by his offseason workouts, it appears Brown indeed will carrying that "chip on his shoulder" into the 2022-23 campaign with Boston.