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After openly expressing doubt about his long-term future with the Boston Celtics, Jaylen Brown could have a long list of potential suitors if he hits free agency after the 2023-24 season.
Per Sean Deveney of Heavy.com, the Atlanta Hawks, Chicago Bulls, Los Angeles Clippers, Milwaukee Bucks and Golden State Warriors are viewed as the most likely potential landing spots for Brown in the summer of 2024.
One league executive told Deveney “probably half the league” would at least have interest in Brown if he becomes a free agent.
Speculation about Brown picked up on Tuesday stemming from comments he made in a profile published by The Ringer’s Logan Murdock when asked about his future in Boston.
“I don’t know. As long as I’m needed. It’s not up to me,” Brown said. “We’ll see how they feel about me over time and I feel about them over time. Hopefully, whatever it is, it makes sense. But I will stay where I’m wanted. I will stay where I’m needed and treated correct.”
In the same article, Murdock noted Brown spoke to Jayson Tatum and Celtics president of basketball operations Brad Stevens on a three-way call last offseason when he was rumored to be in a trade offer to the Brooklyn Nets for Kevin Durant.
There has been speculation about Brown potentially being used in trades multiple times throughout his career, though in a July 2022 article for B/R, NBA insider Jake Fischer noted the Durant trade “seems to be the first moment the Celtics have truly explored the possibility” of moving the 26-year-old.
According to Fischer, the Celtics didn’t make Brown available when they tried to acquire Kawhi Leonard from the San Antonio Spurs in 2018 and “only internally deliberated” on including him in a potential offer to the New Orleans Pelicans for Anthony Davis in 2019.
Any speculation about Brown’s future in Boston might be answered this offseason. Deveney noted he could be eligible for a five-year supermax extension worth $290 million if he is named to the All-NBA team.
If Brown turns down an extension or the Celtics don’t make him an offer, it could be a sign he’s looking to hit the market when his current deal expires after next season.
The Hawks could be the most aggressive suitor if Brown becomes available. He’s from Atlanta and still lives in the city.
The Bucks and Bulls could have significant cap space in the summer of 2024 with Khris Middleton and DeMar DeRozan set to become free agents.
The Clippers and Warriors would have to move off key players to have a shot at signing Brown, but history has shown they won’t have an issue getting the front office to commit enough money to land a player of his caliber.
A two-time All-Star, Brown is averaging a career-high 26.7 points and 6.9 rebounds per game in 61 starts this season.
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