Celtics reportedly ended Ben Simmons trade talks when 76ers demanded Jaylen Brown

"I think it ended being like, ‘Yeah, we’re not listening.'"

Jaylen Brown Ben Simmons
Boston Celtics' Jaylen Brown drives to the basket against Philadelphia 76ers' Ben Simmons. AP Photo/Chris Szagola

The Celtics were predictably uninterested in continuing trade conversations with the 76ers when they demanded Jaylen Brown in exchange for Ben Simmons, according to The Athletic‘s Shams Charania.

On Thursday morning, Brad Stevens told 98.5’s Toucher and Rich that he reached out to Brown to make sure his star wing wasn’t concerned about recent swirling rumors. The Celtics were never going to budge on a deal that moved Brown for Simmons for many reasons, not least of which being Brown’s production as a scorer (significantly higher than Simmons) and his cheaper contract (Brown is in the second year of a four-year, $106 million deal while Simmons is in the second year of a five-year, $177 million deal).


Still, Sixers GM Daryl Morey set a high — and perhaps prohibitive — price for Simmons, and the conversation between the two teams leaked. The NBA media game of telephone ensued: After Charania reported the Sixers demanded Brown, other outlets made it sound like the two teams were discussing a deal.

Per Charania, that wasn’t the case.

“Jaylen Brown and Damian Lillard and Bradley Beal, those are the types of players that Daryl Morey and Philadelphia have prioritized to go get a guy like Ben Simmons,” Charania said on the Pat McAfee show. “So yes, the Celtics did engage the Sixers on Ben Simmons and have conversations, but those conversations weren’t something the Celtics wanted to acquiesce to.

“When it comes to Jaylen Brown, they didn’t want to move Jaylen Brown for Ben Simmons. So unless Philadelphia gets more realistic, they are not going to get what they want.”

Charania noted that the Celtics were the team that engaged the Sixers regarding Simmons, but as soon as it became clear Morey wanted Brown in exchange, the Celtics pulled back.

“When it came to Philadelphia being hard-charged on getting Jaylen Brown in any scenario, yeah, I think it ended being like, ‘We’re not listening,'” Charania said. “Again, there’s really not a deal construct. Marcus Smart, guys like that, that’s not going to fulfill what Philadelphia is looking for and what they wanted.”


Charania added that he doesn’t anticipate a resolution for Simmons any time soon. A three-time All-Star, Simmons averaged 14.3 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 6.9 assists last season.

Brown is averaging 25.6 points per game on 49.3 percent shooting, including 39.7 percent from 3-point range.


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