With a major draw being 25-year-old star wing Jaylen Brown, many view the C’s as the franchise that could offer Brooklyn the most enticing package for the wing, and reports have even surfaced that Brad Stevens and co. were, at one point, interested in such an exchange as well (subscription required).
To this point in time, it appears that no such move is likely to be made as both Brown and Boston seem to be “fully committed” to pursue a championship in 2022-23, which is splendid news to hear for fans as they’re not so keen on the idea of seeing the forward heading outbound.
However, while Brown might not be heading borough-bound any time soon, NBA Analysis Network’s James Piercey recently proposed a hypothetical trade that would ship him out to Salt Lake City for another star that’s currently residing on the trade block.
That player: Donovan Mitchell.
The specific meat of Piercey’s trade is a rather simple one, as it’s a straight-up swap between the two aforementioned youngsters.
Citing the belief by many that the pairing of Tatum and Brown is somewhat redundant for the Boston Celtics what with their similar play styles and the fact that they essentially play the same position, Piercey considers this proposed exchange for Mitchell would “improve their floor balance. ”
As it stands, Tatum and Brown are, functionally, very similar players. Granted, Tatum added some passing to his game, perhaps specifically to fit with Brown. That speaks to his work ethic and potential to grow as a player.
With that said, his handle is still a little shaky. Tatum and Brown are both three-level scorers, but that common weakness in their game keeps them from knifing to the rim at will.
Mitchell, on the other hand, doesn’t share that characteristic. His combination of speed and ball-handling acumen allows him to get a layup attempt whenever he wants one. He would bring a dynamic to this Celtics offense that neither Brown or Tatum are capable of.
Now, to a certain extent, Piercey does have a point with his claim of redundancy between both Tatum and Brown’s game, and, in turn, swapping the latter out for Mitchell could help better round out the team’s rotation from a complimentary play style standpoint.
That said, despite this “overlap,” the Jays have managed to lead the Boston Celtics to incredible successes over their five-year tenure together and just recently guided the team to the 2022 NBA Finals whilst boasting combined averages of 50.5 points, 14.1 rebounds, 7.9 assists, and 2.1 steals on 46 percent shooting from the floor and 35 percent shooting from deep.
Mitchell, though certainly an established star in this league, has yet to show that he’s fully capable of guiding a team far into a postseason, seeing just two second-round appearances in his career and, most recently, was sent packing in round one while putting forth tremendously inefficient efforts (39.8 percent shooting from the floor and 20.8 percent shooting from deep).
We here at the Houdini are not all that open to the concept of seeing Brown being offloaded this offseason, not even for someone of Kevin Durant’s caliber. Having said that, if you could bring on a young stud in return who has a higher upside than the C’s wing, perhaps we’d be more open to seeing such a move take place.
While there’s no argument that Mitchell deserves the moniker of young star, considering his short-comings in the postseason, lacking defensive abilities, and, frankly, his rather small stature (measures in at just 6-1) we are by no means convinced he’s a player with a higher ceiling than the C’s current star two.
Because of this, NAN’s proposal of a simple swap of Brown for Spida doesn’t make much sense for the Boston Celtics to entertain.