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You can only keep one.

You may solely maintain one.
Picture: Getty Pictures

The Boston Celtics have one of many richest legacies in North American sports activities, however as of late, they haven’t been capable of recover from that hump to seize one other NBA championship. Lately, their two younger stars, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown have led them to a number of Jap Convention Finals appearances. Nevertheless, now, it feels prefer it’s lastly time for Boston to think about splitting up the duo.

This isn’t meant to be an indictment on the expertise degree of Tatum and Brown however extra of a realization that the Celtics will most likely be higher off selecting one over the opposite in the long term. They’ve been a perennial playoff crew in Boston, nevertheless it’s develop into painfully evident that these Celtics might have already peaked within the east, with Tatum and Brown main the best way over the past two seasons.

Individually Tatum and Brown are two of the rising younger stars within the league, averaging over 24 ppg this season. Each gamers have been lottery picks and really chosen No. 3 general in back-to-back years (2016 & 2017) by the Celtics. On the time, Boston possible thought they’d put collectively the dynamic duo that will have the franchise competing for championships throughout the subsequent 5 years. Issues haven’t precisely labored out that approach.

For the reason that two have been teamed up in 2017, the Celtics have gained fewer video games every season. That isn’t completely on the Tatum-Brown pairing, however some blame undoubtedly falls on their shoulders as the highest canine. Former crew president/basic supervisor Danny Ainge is solely at fault for the development of this squad. However he’s not round, so now Brad Stevens is pressured to determine it out.

Tatum and Brown are of their fifth season as teammates, and haven’t been capable of enhance upon their first season collectively — 55-27, and a seven-game Jap Convention Ultimate towards LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Final season was the worst, with the Celtics ending 2020-21 with a .500 report and the Brooklyn Nets dominating them within the first spherical of the playoffs. This season, the Celtics are two video games beneath .500 because the midway level approaches. There’s been some change in Boston lately, however the core of Tatum, Brown, and even Marcus Good has remained.

I believe we’ve seen this Celtics crew as presently assembled go about so far as must be anticipated. As proficient as Tatum and Brown are, their types are considerably comparable and never the very best praise. The offense doesn’t at all times circulation in Boston, and when issues get tight, they have an inclination to revert to isolation ball as they did towards the Knicks a couple of nights in the past, squandering a 25-point lead within the second half. This yr, the Celtics are hovering close to .500 with a 19-21 report sitting in tenth place within the east.

Now could be the time for Boston to go forward and make a deal occur for both of their younger stars. I really feel like in the event that they’re pressured to decide on, the Celtics would commerce away Brown and maintain onto Tatum. Boston may get a fairly good haul in return for Brown. Perhaps a participant or two, together with not less than a first-round draft choose. At this level, the Celtics don’t have anything to lose, so they may as properly give Daryl Morey a name in Philly about Ben Simmons. Brown, Good, one other participant, and a draft choose would possibly get it finished. Realizing Morey and his lofty commerce expectations, most likely not, nevertheless it’s price a name with the commerce deadline simply weeks away. Damian Lillard is another obvious route, however the Blazers are such a large number as a franchise for the time being that it is likely to be even tougher to get that deal finished.

What do you assume LeBron James and the Lakers would hand over proper now for Brown? Perhaps Anthony Davis? Actually, Russell Westbrook at this stage. I’m pretty assured neither of those situations will play out, however the Celtics must get issues so as shortly. Stevens has one hell of a activity forward over the subsequent yr or two in getting the franchise again on observe. If it’s going to occur, then it’s most likely going to be minus Tatum or Brown. It’s time to chop bait and transfer ahead.

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