2. Celtics send Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart, draft picks to Rockets
For Boston, their best chance of landing Harden would be to part with Jaylen Brown, who they’d certainly like to keep. At 24-years-of-age, Brown certainly meets the definition of a young cornerstone, and his contract status adds even more value.
Prior to the start of the 2019-20 season, Brown signed a four-year contract extension worth $106.3 million, which has him under contract through the 2023-24 season. As if that wasn’t appealing enough, Brown’s deal doesn’t include a player option at all, meaning he would be with the Rockets through the end of his deal, barring a trade, of course.
Brown will also still be in his peak after his deal expires, as he would be 27 years-old, and likely to land another extension. Fresh off of a 2019-20 season that saw Brown post averages of 20 points on 38.1 percent from deep, in addition to 6.4 rebounds, Brown has upped his play even more in the young 2020-21 season.
Brown is currently averaging 26.3 points per game and is fourth in the league in total points scored, as of this writing. But aside from Brown, the Rockets would also get back two first round draft picks, which would help replenish some of the last draft capital from the Russell Westbrook trade of 2019.
As if that wasn’t enough, the Rockets would also get back Marcus Smart, who is a premier 3-and-D player in the league, which is a skillset that the Rockets are currently deprived of.
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