With the NBA trade deadline 13 days away, odds are you’ve heard or read plenty of hypothetical deals involving one of the beloved Jays. These proposals, while annoyingly incessant, should not be cause for any alarm. (Unless, of course, they involve Ben Simmons, in which case they should be treated as threats to our nation’s security). If you have any faith in this team’s brass, you should know that they know that trading one of these franchise pillars would be the errand of a fool.
Don’t just take it from me. Take it from a couple of NBA legends, who recently asserted that breaking up the Celtics’ top two would be all but nonsensical.
Ahead of last night’s loss in Atlanta, Hawks’ legend and current color analyst, Dominique Wilkins, told NBC Sports Boston’s Abby Chin that Boston would regret separating such a young tandem during this vital growth period.
“When you’re a young team, you’re trying to grow, you’re trying to add different pieces to what you already have, but man, those two guys are explosive,” Wilkins said. “They are one of the best tandems in this league... Those two guys are definite cornerstones of the franchise. If you get rid of one or the other, you don’t really know what you’re missing ‘til it’s gone.”
Wilkins also insisted that the Celtics should be looking to add pieces around Tatum and Brown, not dealing one for pieces to build a roster around the other. He additionally shouted out Robert Williams III, who he believes should be a key cog in this team’s future, too.
“That young man can bounce,” Wilkins said. “He can get up off the floor. He’s been an impressive guy for me for a couple of years now. I really like him.
A separate report — from the Boston Globe’s Gary Washburn — quotes Dwyane Wade as the latest to chime in on the “to trade or not trade the Jays” conversation, delivering his own resounding “NO.” Wade knows a thing or two about playing and winning alongside other stars (see: LeBron James, Shaquille O’Neal, Chris Bosh, and Ante Žižić, for starters); in this regard, his advice is worth its weight in Larry O’Brien trophies.
“You’re talking to someone who’s done it all, who’s played every role possible,” Wade said. “So I’m going to be a little biased but it’s not hard if it’s what you want to do. But we’re talking about young players and they’re growing into themselves. Jayson Tatum has been blossoming into a young superstar in front of our eyes and Jaylen Brown has been ‘Hold on, wait, don’t forget about me.’”
Furthermore, Wade added, “They’re trying to learn how to win in one of the toughest cities to win in that demands championships, that demands success, and they’re trying to figure it out. That’s the beauty of it, it’s the journey for both of those guys. It’s hard for anybody in any sport to have the similar kind of style of similar games and to be told that someone has to sacrifice.”
Say it louder for the people in the back.
“We have to allow these guys to come into their own and we have to allow them to learn how to lose and learn how to win, together, he continued. “We’ve been watching. We want so much from them because they went to the [conference] finals very early in their young career but they’re still learning how to play basketball at a high level. When you’re a team and you have that kind of talent, you find a way to make sure that talent continues to work together because you can’t just go out and find a Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. I like the fact they’re trying to figure it out together.”
So do we, Dwyane. So do we.