Would You Be Okay With Celtics Trading Tatum or Brown?
Okay, first I feel as though it's necessary to acknowledge that maybe this question is being asked a day or two late...
48 hours ago, there were reports of rampant in-fighting between Marcus Smart and the J's while the team was off to an uninspiring 2-5 start.
Now, following a player's only meeting, the Celtics have turned in back-to-back wins in The Sunshine State. Though, just like we probably shouldn't have been as up in arms as we were during the first seven games, let's not get carried away thinking all the problems have been solved thanks to eight successful quarters of basketball over the last two nights.
Something interesting seems to be happening in the NBA world - a shift away from the super team. So much for the Nets stockpiling three MVP-caliber players last year, it was Milwaukee who came out on top. With one generational, all-time talent in Giannis, and then a bunch of quality support around him.
Teams like Denver and Utah have made deep runs in recent years. Both have their stars in the reigning MVP Nikola Jokic and Donovan Mitchell, respectively, but their greatest strength is in squad depth.
Even the Warriors have reinvented themselves over the last two seasons to fit a similar mold, with Steph Curry, dominant as ever, at the center surrounded by better-than-average but not superstar talent. Chicago loaded up in free agency to make sure they can roll out a lineup 8-or-9 deep each night, with everyone contributing.
It's the same way Miami has built its team this season, and what Washington is attempting to do with their return from the Russell Westbrook trade over the off-season. Meanwhile, teams like the Lakers, still in that "stars at all cost mode," have experienced their share of struggles in the early season.
But is it something Brad Stevens should examine, still early into his tenure upstairs?
Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown are incredible. There's no arguing the point. One is 23 years old, the other is 25, and at a minimum they are both top-25 talents in the league. There are 29 other franchises that would love to have them, and the vast majority of those franchises would be willing to part with whatever pieces Stevens may want in return to execute a deal.
But whether or not the partnership works in Boston remains to be seen.
Over the last two years (59 games), while both Tatum and Brown have been at the peak of their powers to this point in their career, these are the Celtics overall records when either player is the leading scorer on a given night, compared to when neither guy tops the box score:
- Brown (12-12, .500), Tatum (15-16, .484), all others (4-0, 1.000).
I'm not trying to say the Celtics are a better team when Al Horford or Dennis Schroder is leading the way. Though, those two have probably been Boston's best this year. I'm also not saying Marcus Smart or any of the young guys are dependable enough to look to on a nightly basis. But isn't that the problem? When Brown or Tatum are the leading scorer's, the Celtics are right around a .500 team. If they don't have it in a game, who is left to pick up the slack?
This team certainly needs more role players, but would you be willing to strengthen the depth at the cost of losing Brown or Tatum?