Current ESPN analyst Kendrick Perkins revealed a moment wherein former Boston Celtics President Danny Ainge consulted him for a James Harden-Jaylen Brown trade last season.
Speaking last Friday on Celtics pregame live, the former NBA player recalled the conversation when trade talks were buzzing around the league which centers around the superstar.
“I remember last year around this time when teams were calling about James Harden and Houston actually wanted Jaylen Brown,” Perkins said on the segment.
“I was on the phone with Danny Ainge for an hour, and I remember how our conversation went. He was like, ‘Hey, Perk, would you trade Jaylen Brown for James Harden?’ And I was like, ‘Danny, you know how I feel about Jaylen Brown, but I would trade him for James Harden.’ He was like, ‘ Are you kidding me? He’s not going anywhere. He’s not even 25 and he keeps getting better.’
“And then all of a sudden, Danny didn’t make the trade, [Jaylen] made the All-Star team, had a breakout year, and now he just keeps getting better. Jaylen Brown is a true professional, he works hard, and people say he’s under-appreciated, but I would say people appreciate him now.”
Last season, news exploded about James Harden’s unwillingness to commit further with the Houston Rockets after becoming their franchise cornerstone since 2012. Several teams, including the Boston Celtics, were rumored as one of the suitors to claim the superstar. Yet, then-Cs President Ainge didn’t pull the trigger at the end, as he remained hesitant to let Jaylen Brown go. In other way around, Rockets sent Harden to the Brooklyn Nets via multi-team swap midway through the season.
No one can deny a prolific talent like Harden — an all-time scorer, great floor general, and an offensive machine with his loaded tactics, but Brown remains supreme and still has a huge upside at age 24. In the long-term viewpoint, he is fitting along with Jayson Tatum for Beantown’s continuing championship aspirations. After having an All-star campaign last season wherein he took a huge leap to etch an average of 24.7 points, 6.0 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 48 percent field goal efficiency, the Atlanta native keeps growing until he can reach his full potential to become a two-way superstar within the association.
The Brown-less Celtics outlasted the Houston Rockets recently, 107-97, behind Tatum’s 31-point output.