Now a crucial part of a Celtics team vying for a championship, Jaylen Brown recalls seeing club owner Wyc Grousbeck get booed by fans on draft night in 2016 when Boston used the No. 3 pick to select and keep Brown rather than using it in a trade for Jimmy Butler or another established star.
“(Wyc) had to defend, like, ‘This is who we’re going with. You guys just gonna have to live with it.’ And I was like, ‘This is crazy.’ These guys have never seen me play before or, you know, I haven’t even got the opportunity,” Brown said, per Michael Pina of SI.com.
As Pina writes, Brown’s development into an All-Star-caliber player has been a major part of the Celtics’ return to the NBA Finals. And at age 25, the standout swingman isn’t necessarily a finished product, meaning his best could be yet to come.
“I think the organization has known the type of ability that I’ve had for a long time; even when casual fans thought they were crazy for not trading me for X, Y and Z, Danny Ainge and Brad Stevens knew,” Brown said. “They seen me every single day, knew what I was capable of. Not to say I’m anywhere close to those guys yet, but I’m continuing to work and I’m excited that we’re here in the Finals now, going through this journey.”
Here’s more from around the Atlantic:
- Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer confirms a report which stated the Sixers have explored trades involving the No. 23 pick in the draft and Danny Green‘s expiring contract, explaining why such a move would make sense for the club.
- Eric Koreen of The Athletic explores what an ideal offseason for the Raptors might look like, laying out a scenario in which the team re-signs Chris Boucher and Thaddeus Young, drafts Wendell Moore at No. 33, brings in Malik Monk using the mid-level exception, and locks up Fred VanVleet to a long-term extension.
- In a separate story for The Athletic, Koreen wonders whether Raptors wing OG Anunoby‘s career path will look more like Jerami Grant‘s or Andrew Wiggins‘. As Koreen writes, Grant left a three-and-D role in Denver for a starring role on a lottery team in Detroit, while former No. 1 overall pick Wiggins has thrived in a complementary role in Golden State, earning an All-Star nod and helping bring the team within one win of a title.