The Boston Celtics are three wins away from an appearance in the NBA Finals. However, they are simultaneously three losses away from their Eastern Conference Finals loss to the Miami Heat in the last three years. And while their playoff run has been impressive, anything less than a championship could still result in some offseason changes.
Most of Boston’s roster will be on the books heading into next season, meaning adding players via free agency won’t be an easy task. However, having so many trades under contract will mean making trades is a whole lot easier.
In a Bleacher Report article published on May 19, Zach Buckley suggested that the Celtics make a franchise-altering decision and trade All-Star wing Jaylen Brown. In return, they’d receive Los Angeles Lakers big man Anthony Davis.
Those were the only two pieces involved in Buckley’s proposed trade, but he also noted that “ore pieces would have to be added to make this trade past the money-matching requirements.” Buckley also explained that both fanbases would want more in the deal, saying that “Celtics fans may favor Jaylen Brown for his age (25), improvement and lack of injury issues” and that “Lakers fans could counter that Anthony Davis has hit a higher peak than Brown may ever approach.”
Seeing the two most storied franchises in the league make a trade would be shocking, especially considering the two parties have completed just three deals together in their franchises’ history.
Trades Between Celtics and Lakers
The first deal these two teams made occurred back in 1977. Los Angeles dealt Don Chaney, Kermit Washington, and a 1978 first-round pick to the Celtics in exchange for Charlie Scott. While Scott and Washington would go on to average double-digit scoring numbers with their respective new teams, neither played more than 50 games.
Next, the Lakers traded Tony Battie to the Celtics in 1999 for Travis Knight. Battie played 336 games in a Celtics uniform over the course of five and a half seasons. He never averaged many points, but he did play 22.2 minutes per game.
Lastly, the most recent trade these two teams made also happens to be the most significant. In 2004, the Lakers traded Rick Fox, Gary Payton, and a 2006 first-round pick to the Celtics for Chucky Atkins, Jumaine Jones, and Chris Mihm. Payton would go on to win a ring in Boston, but the most important part of this deal was the pick, as the Celtics used it to select Rajon Rondo.
All that being said, if the Celtics were to trade Brown for Davis, it would easily become the most significant deal ever made between the two parties. Both would play crucial roles for their new teams, as outlined by Buckley.
Brown’s and Davis’ Roles on New Teams
Buckley suggested that Davis may be a better fit for Boston’s current roster. He noted the similarities in Brown’s and superstar Jayson Tatum’s games, arguing that bringing Davis on board would create less of a “skill overlap.”
In addition, he said that Davis would fit in beautifully with the defensive scheme put in place by head coach Ime Udoka. Buckley argued that the Lakers big man would even take it to the next level, stating that “bringing Davis to Boston would super-power this already elite defense.”
On the flip side, Buckley’s explanation of Brown’s fit on the Lakers was much simpler. He said plainly that Brown would “give the Lakers the two-way wing they so desperately need.”
With how well the Celtics have played down the stretch of the season, a big-time shake-up seems unlikely this offseason. But if they do get eliminated from title contention, anything could happen.