The latest Boston Celtics trade rumors seem to indicate that Celtics fans are still dissatisfied with their team’s pick of Jaylen Brown with the third overall selection in the 2016 NBA draft — a pick that many fans actually booed when it was announced at the June 24 draft last year.
While the freshman from the University of California was not the pick that fans expected, perhaps having their hearts set on Kris Dunn of nearby Providence College, Brown has proven that the fans who booed his selection were shortsighted to say the least. The 20-year-old has put himself in Rookie of the Year contention, capped by his 16-point, eight rebound performance in just under 23 minutes against the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center last Friday.
To drive the point home, the Lakers top 2016 pick, selected second overall one slot ahead of Brown, Brandon Ingram went without any points at all on Friday against the Celtics — the third time Ingram has been blanked in this, his rookie season.
The top overall pick in last year’s draft, by the Philadelphia 76ers, was Australia native Ben Simmons, a high touted, six-foot-10-inch power forward out of Louisiana State University. But while Simmons was seen as a sure thing to succeed in the NBA, he has missed the entire season in Philadelphia with a fractured right foot.
With Brown’s value on the upswing and Simmons still a question mark, would Celtics President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge attempt to engineer a swap of the two top-three 2016 draft picks, bringing the big man to Boston where rebounding has been in short supply this season.
In his lone season at LSU, Simmons averaged 11.8 rebounds per game in just under 35 minutes played, on average.
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Columnist Chad Finn of Boston.com believes that Ainge would pull the trigger on the deal.
“Would they trade (Brown) for Simmons? I think so, yes, even with the risk that he has Andrew Toney’s feet,” Finn wrote on Monday. “Simmons supposedly can’t shoot, but the same thing was said about Brown; if he works at it, he’ll improve. It’s the easy thing to fix in the NBA. He’s an otherworldly passer with the kind of court sense that can’t be taught. And he’s 6-foot-10. Anything to help this crew grab a few more rebounds.”
At the same time, Finn acknowledged that “Brown is way ahead of where he was supposed to be as an NBA freshman…. He’s a good NBA player already, with a chance to be much more.”
But would a similar trade, dealing Brown for Ingram — the 2016 Number Two draft pick — prove just as attractive?
NBA draft 1-night comp tweet:
Brandom Ingram: 22 mins, 0-for-0, 0 points, 4 rebs, 5 fouls
Jaylen Brown: 21 mins, 7-for-12, 16 points, 8 rebs
— Adam Himmelsbach (@AdamHimmelsbach) March 4, 2017
Perhaps not. But Finn believes Ainge would consider that deal — if the his Lakers counterpart Magic Johnson sweetened the deal.
“I have little doubt the Celtics would have taken Ingram over Brown back on June 23, though Ainge had eyes for Brown as soon as he found out they’d be picking third. Now, seeing how rapidly Brown is developing… well, I think Ainge would take a call from Magic Johnson offering Ingram straight-up. But I don’t think he makes the deal without trying to bait Magic into giving up a little something more.”
What’s your opinion, take the poll below to register your views on trading Brown for Simmons or Ingram.
[Featured Image By Kim Raff/AP Images]