Jaylen Brown, once mired in Kevin Durant trade rumors, wants answers. Here's what we know.
Jaylen Brown just wants to know where he stands.
Are the Boston Celtics building around the two-time All-Star? If so, why was his name floated in trade deadline rumors involving superstar Kevin Durant? And how does the team view Brown moving forward?
The hodgepodge of speculation prompted Brown to organize a three-way call with general manager Brad Stevens and teammate Jayson Tatum to clear the air, according to The Ringer.
What was said on the call, and did Brown receive any reassurance from the Celtics? Did Boston confirm Brown was part of a proposed trade package to acquire Durant, who was eventually dealt to the Phoenix Suns?
Here's what we know about Brown's current situation with the Celtics:
What was said on call between Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum and Brad Stevens?
Stevens told Logan Murdock of The Ringer that it was a "direct conversation" between all sides. Brown said he "wasn’t sure what the direction of the organization was" after seeing his name floated by media members in reports that the Celtics were putting together a package to acquire Durant.
"You just have to be able to say, 'This is what’s real,'" Stevens said. "'This is where we are. Obviously, you and Jayson are the two guys that we’ve built the whole roster around. And our every expectation is for us to come and compete together and try to be two games better than we were last year.'"
Brown, who mentioned that Tatum and Durant being "friends" and training together in the offseason contributed to his concern, ultimately said the meeting ended with a mutual understanding.
"Once we all got together and kind of talked it through," Brown said, "we all left on the same page. But the actions that was taking place during that time, it just didn’t seem like that was the direction that the organization was going in. I don’t know. It was hard to tell, at least."
Neither Stevens nor Brown publicly acknowledged whether Brown was actually used in trade discussions to acquire Durant.
Where does Jaylen Brown stand with the Celtics?
The relationship is up in the air.
Brown told The Ringer, "I don't know," when asked whether he wanted to stay in Boston long term.
"As long as I'm needed," Brown said. "It's not up to me. 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."
Jaylen Brown was noncommittal when asked about his future with Boston. pic.twitter.com/7jqIP6Oeth
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) March 21, 2023
Brown is clearly insecure about his role with the Celtics. He is largely viewed as the team's No. 2 option behind Tatum, who is an MVP candidate this season.
Still, the 26-year-old Brown is averaging a career-best 26.7 points per game this season for a team considered one of the favorites to win an NBA title. He is under contract through the 2023-24 season.
"It’s hard coming into teams and organizations and being warm," Brown told The Ringer. "They operate on different principles, I think. This is an organization. They look at it as a business, where they’ll tell you one thing, and then behind closed doors, they’ll say another, and they’ll trade you off. Tell you, 'We love you,' and they’ll be having like, 'We’re going to trade him next week.' I think that’s just how business is run.
"Like, where I’m from in the South, if you don’t come through the front door, it’s considered disrespectful. I feel like a lot of times, when you deal in these corporate spaces, everybody wants to come through the back door or come through an angle."
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Celtics' Jaylen Brown on long-term future in Boston: I don't know