No. 3: Jaylen Brown, Boston Celtics
Brown appeared to be the white whale of Portland’s pre-draft trade talks. The 26-year-old became a Second-Team All-NBA player last season after averaging 26.6 points, 6.9 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.5 stocks (steals plus blocks) in a career year with a Celtics team that made the Eastern Conference Finals.
So why would Boston part with the two-time All-Star? One word: money.
After earning his All-NBA nod, Brown is eligible for a five-year, $295 million contract extension from the Celtics. Most extensions were done in the opening days of free agency, like Grant’s, but the league is still waiting on Brown and Boston to come to an agreement.
Reportedly, the only holdup is the fifth year of the extension – the former Cal star rightfully wants it, while the Celtics are understandably hesitant. But the longer the two sides negotiate and the more Boston tries to penny-pinch, the further the door opens for Brown to desire an exit.
Jaylen hinted earlier this year that he would be willing to leave if Boston doesn’t make him feel wanted or needed. Does haggling over a fifth year on a huge extension make him feel unwanted or unneeded? Because he sure would be welcomed in Portland as the Blazers’ long-awaited answer to a significant wing dilemma.