Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart address offseason Kevin Durant rumors originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
It's been a tumultuous offseason for the Boston Celtics, to say the least. With all of the news that has surrounded the team over the last month, it's easy to forget the trade rumors that dominated much of the summer.
Brown mostly stayed mum on the trade rumors, though he did take to Twitter with what appeared to be a disappointed reaction. Nonetheless, Durant rescinded his request and Brown will be a Celtic for the 2022-23 campaign.
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During Celtics Media Day on Monday, Brown finally opened up about the situation and how he communicated with the team amid the rumors.
"I've talked to my teammates, I've talked to ownership, the organization, etc. I'll keep those conversations between us," Brown said. "All I can say is now that I'm here, I'm ready to play basketball. I'm in great shape. Probably the best shape of my life. So I'm excited to start the journey. Things haven't gone to the start that we wanted it to go, but that's life sometimes. So, put our best foot forward and do what we gotta do."
While Brown was the subject of trade talks, veteran guard Marcus Smart went out of his way to be there for his teammate.
"It's funny because I said it one time to him. We were in L.A. training. And it's not because we were talking about it. It's just, I just wanted him to know that he's not alone," Smart said on Monday. "I understand that whatever you're feeling, you have every right to feel it. I get it. And I just had to let him know it's going to be OK. Nine times out of 10, these things are exactly that, just talks."
Smart went on to emphasize that as great as Durant is, he's happy that Brown will remain a key part of the Celtics' lineup going forward.
"I just feel like JB is a young, upcoming superstar in this league and he's rising steady, getting better and proving he belongs with the top echelon of players, and his name deserves to be in that," he said. "So for me, it was a no-brainer. And I hope that the Celtics thought like me that KD's great, don't get me wrong, we'd love to have KD and anybody would love to have KD, but everybody would love to have Jaylen Brown as well."
With the trade rumors in the rearview, Brown and the Celtics are focused on bringing Banner 18 to Boston. There will be no shortage of adversity on their road back to the NBA Finals as they battle through Danilo Gallinari and Robert Williams' injuries as well as Ime Udoka's season-long suspension.
Celtics training camp is set to begin on Tuesday. The preseason opener is scheduled for Oct. 2. vs. the Charlotte Hornets.