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Jeff Goodman: Trading Jaylen Brown only way for Celtics to improve

Jeff Goodman advocated for a Jaylen Brown-for-Bradley Beal swap this offseason in his recent Garden Report appearance.

During their Garden Report following the latest edition of the Jeff Goodman and Bob Ryan Podcast on CLNS Media, the pair broke down Boston’s three-game losing stream. With little cap room going forward, Goodman made the case to trade Jaylen Brown. It may be the only way for the Celtics to truly improve.

“If you’re Danny Ainge, don’t you have to be looking at it right now like, we got to make a move,” said Goodman. “If we bring the same core back next year, what is really going to change.”

The Celtics could go in various directions this offseason if they fall short of expectations. Firing Brad Stevens will be the first idea that many state, though his long-term extension could make that difficult in practice. Danny Ainge isn’t going anywhere, nor is Kemba Walker given his health status and contract. Few of Boston’s draft picks or prospects will draw much interest around the league, and the C’s are about to enter the tax as Jayson Tatum’s extension kicks in.

Bob Ryan and Jeff Goodman pay tribute to Terrence Clarke — 2001-2021

“I still say they should look at what the market is for Jaylen Brown,” continued Goodman. “Jaylen Brown and Robert Williams and a first-round pick for Bradley Beal… that’s the one I would do.”

Beal is on the books with Washington for one more season after this one, with a player option for the 2022-23 season. His relationship with Tatum is the main reason for the trade speculation. He, for his part, has remained unequivocally committed to the Wizards as they remain in the playoff hunt late this season.

Goodman went on to think of more trade options for Beal, asking Ryan, “would you do Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart for Bradley Beal?” Ryan hesitated before Goodman goes on to say “I know you don’t like it but you got to do something!”

Smart is due for a contract extension at the end of next season and will be an unrestricted free agent in 2022.

“Don’t you have to do something if you’re Danny Ainge and shake it up and try something,” Goodman asked.

Ryan dubiously agreed, saying, “well I think yes… since we both anticipate a great unhappiness when the playoffs are over, especially if they wind up playing in the play-in.”

“If you go out in the play-in, or maybe even in the first round, Danny can’t come back with the same coach and the same players.”

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