Celtics

Marcus Smart didn’t talk with Jaylen Brown about trade rumors, but said he’s handled them ‘great’

"He walks around with a smile on his face."

Marcus Smart and Jaylen Brown are set to enter their seventh season together as teammates. Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Jaylen Brown’s name was in the news for much of the offseason not because of his play that helped the Celtics reach the NBA Finals, but because he was reportedly being offered in a trade for Nets star Kevin Durant.

Now that Durant’s rescinded his trade request, the focus on Brown has shifted to whether or not the rumors have impacted him in any way. Brown hasn’t publicly commented on them. Some of his teammates have, though.

Celtics point guard Marcus Smart told CLNS Media’s Bobby Manning that Brown didn’t seem fazed by the possibility of getting traded when the two worked out in Los Angeles in mid-August.

“[Brown’s] handled it great,” Smart said. “He walks around with a smile on his face. We actually haven’t even mentioned it when we were together. We were just talking about the upcoming season and getting ourselves ready, but he’s great. He’s handling it as professionally as he can and my advice is, to anybody, don’t forget it’s a business first. When you’re doing business, personal stuff has to go out the window and can’t be the issue, so you can’t look at it like that.”

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Like Brown, Smart’s name was also involved in the reported trade talks between the Celtics and Nets, with Brooklyn wanting the reigning Defensive Player of the Year as part of the deal for Durant. Smart’s also been no stranger to dealing with trade rumors in the past, with the Celtics reportedly discussing trading over the last couple of trade deadlines.

Smart believes that Brown shouldn’t feel bad about any trade rumors he’s involved in.

“If your name is up there in trade talks, I look at it as a compliment. It means teams want you. That’s a good thing,” Smart said. “The problem is if your name is not [in rumors], nobody wants you. So that’s how I’m looking at it and that’s how people should look at it. It’s tough, I understand it, but just because it’s going on, you never know. Anything can happen.”

Smart’s just the latest member of the Celtics to weigh in on the matter. Celtics president of basketball operations Brad Stevens said he was in touch with Brown when the rumors came up and even met with him in Los Angeles in August.

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“Jaylen’s been through this from the standpoint of listening and the noise has been around him for a long time, big names over the years,” Stevens told WEEI’s “Merloni, Fauria & Mego” in August. “You’ve got to be able to ignore the noise and know what’s important but also be able to reach out and have candid and transparent communications with the people that are involved. And so yeah, we’ve had those, made ourselves very open from the get-go as all of this has been going on for any of our guys.”

Celtics forward Grant Williams had a similar thought as Smart did on the trade rumors, that it can be a good thing that you’re being discussed as the main piece in a trade for a “top 10 player.”

“It also shows how valuable he is,” Williams said in August.

Williams also believes Brown will still play well when the new season begins in October.

“I think he’s going to come in and approach it even better — take it for like a competitive mindset,” Williams said. “If it doesn’t work out — I don’t know if it is or not, I’m not involved in those processes — I think he’s going to come back with a chip on his shoulder. And I’ll love that. I know how JB responds. He’s going to be very, very secure — secure of himself and what he’s going to be.”

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As for Brown, he tweeted “Smh” when the rumor was first reported in late July. However, an NBA executive reportedly believes Brown is “all-in” on Boston.

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