CLEVELAND -- The whispers are everywhere in the wake of Anthony Davis hitting the trade market last week as Danny Ainge and his staff have been carefully waiting for this availability for several years and hope they will have an opportunity in the summer to jump in the fray for the All-Star big man.
Fortunately, in the interim, the Celtics assets don't have to sweat the possibility of being shipped out of town for the MVP candidate. While the debate has largely centered over whether Ainge would promise the crown jewel of Jayson Tatum to New Orleans as part of a trade package for Tatum, a name that is just as (if not more) likely to be involved in any deal for Davis is Jaylen Brown.
The swingman has steadily turned his season around in the past two months. He lost his starting spot to Marcus Smart in November but has easily been the most consistent bench contributor for Boston since December.
"We all were struggling early in the year and it took us all a while to find our footing," Brad Stevens explained on Tuesday night. "Jaylen has just kind of kept at it and has really had a good last couple of months. He looks a lot like he did in the past and even better, which is really encouraging. We need a lot from him, because he’s a guy that not only can do things that others can do in terms of shooting it or driving, but he can get to the foul line for us too, and I think that’s all really helpful."
BostonSportsJournal.com caught up with Brown to get his reaction to the recent trade frenzy around the league, how he's handling the AD rumors and his communication with Ainge through it all.
BSJ: Danny has talked openly about the fact that he does not plan to make any big moves ahead of the trade deadline and wants to make a run at it with this core group. When he provides that vote of confidence publicly, does that provide any kind of a boost or help make you feel better about the situation?
Brown: It kind of feels the same. It doesn't make a difference. We just have to come out and play basketball. We know this game is a business. We understand that. We'll see what happens after the All-Star break. Like Danny said, this group is the group that we have. That's great. Let's continue to move forward and try to build towards a championship.
When you look across the league and see what young guys on the Lakers and other teams are dealing with right now...how tough does that look at from afar at what those young guys are going through? Or have you known someone well that has dealt with it previously?
Brown: I just try not to compare. I try to just focus on my situation. You can get caught up in comparing and it takes away from what you do best. I try to focus on me and our team and the stuff we need to do better. To start comparing, I let the media, the fans, and the trolls do all that. I don't get into that, pointing fingers and things. I try to focus on me.
Has Danny Ainge talked about you directly about the trade rumors swirling, whether it's sometime recent or at some point over the past year? How much has that helped to put you at ease with the situation?