Jaylen Brown is talking like somebody who wants to leave Boston when he’s a free agent at the end of next season. But the NBA’s most prominent insider says that’s reading too much into his remarks.
In a pair of interviews with the New York Times and the Ringer, Brown cast doubt on his future in Boston. He told the Times’ Sopan Deb he finds some Celtics fans “toxic,” and spoke about the discrimination he’s faced as an outspoken Black athlete.
were Jaylen brown's anti-boson comments coordinated?
When the Ringer’s Logan Murdock asked Brown whether he wants to re-sign with the Celtics, the two-time All-Star demurred.
“I don’t know. As long as I’m needed. It’s not up to me,” he said.
On ESPN’s “Get Up!” Wednesday, Adrian Wojnarowski said he doesn’t think Brown was trying to send some sort of message. Instead, Woj says he thinks Brown was just attempting to preserve his leverage.
“He is a thoughtful individual,” said Wojnarowski. “Not every player is going to give up his leverage when he talks about it publicly. I didn’t think the comment was that incendiary. I thought he left it open-ended.”
Brown’s honesty is refreshing in a way. He’s admitted he was bothered by the Kevin Durant rumors, and has opened up about some of his negative personal experiences in the city.
But at the same time, Brown isn’t ruling out an extension, either. The Celtics can pay him more than any other team with the supermax extension, and players’ free agent decisions are often financially motivated.
Brown seemingly doesn’t want to make promises he can’t keep, unlike his good pal Kyrie Irving, who promised to stay in Boston before leaving on ugly terms.
Brown’s words may not be soothing to Celtics fans, but his candor is respectable.