Friday, June 2, 2023

Celtics plan to keep Jaylen Brown, per Brad Stevens: 'He's a big part of us and we believe in him'

Brad Stevens addressed any speculation that the Celtics are looking to move on from Jaylen Brown before his contract is up next summer.

Team president of basketball operations spoke to the media Thursday afternoon for the first time since Boston was eliminated by the Heat earlier this week.
"I can say, without a doubt, we want Jaylen to be here," Stevens said. "He's a big part of us and we believe in him and I'm thankful for him … Jaylen had a great year, All-NBA year. He's a big part of us moving forward in our eyes."
Brown, who took the blame for a blowout Game 7 loss, where he scored 19 points on 8-of-23 shooting, including going 1-of-9 from 3-point range to go along with eight turnovers -- is eligible for a supermax contract extension this summer worth up to $295 million over five years, after having made an All-NBA team this season.

When asked if there's plans to offer Brown that type of deal, Stevens said he couldn't discuss those details at that moment.
"I've had nothing but great conversations with Jaylen," Stevens said. "But we can't talk about all that stuff as I said earlier with Grant. Like, I'm not allowed to talk about all the contract details, let alone the extension because it's not of that time yet. Right now, his window is between July 1st and October whatever it is."
Brown struggled in the playoffs, especially when it came to turnovers (66), having notched just one more assist (67) than the amount of times he lost the ball. He called his Game 7 performance "terrible" and said he failed when his teammates needed him most, even as Jayson Tatum rolled his ankle on the first play of the night.

Still, Stevens can appreciate and admire Brown and Tatum's willingness to take accountability in wins and losses.
"I'm really thankful for when those guys have success, they come back to work," Stevens said. "When they get beat, they own it, they come back to work and I know what they're about. That's hard to find … those qualities aren't for everybody."
Despite a rough East Finals against the Heat, Stevens believes Brown will bounce back and he'll re-sign the two-time All-Star wing -- who is coming off his best season with averages of 26.6 points (career-high), 6.9 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game, while also shooting a career-best 49.1% from the field.

Joel Pavón

Photo used courtesy of NBAAnaylsis.Net

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