Celtics Lose Brown Before Trade Deadline
The Boston Celtics have past the February 9 NBA Trade deadline with making just one deal. Through that deal, the C’s acquired center Mike Muscala (he/him) from the Oklahoma City Thunder. In return, the Celtics gave small forward Justin Jackson (he/him) and two future second-round draft picks to the Thunder.
Jackson never got a lot of playing time in Boston, only averaging about .9 points per game. Shortly after the trade, Jackson was waived by the Thunder, who he played for in 2020. On the other hand, Muscala is a sharp shooting center who can make three-pointers and add good depth to the Celtics lineup whenever Al Horford (he/him) or Robert Williams III (he/him) are not available.
Two major ongoing injuries concern Jaylen Brown (he/him) and Marcus Smart (he/him). Smart has missed the last nine games for the Green while dealing with a right ankle sprain. While Smart has been progressing, he is unlikely to return before the NBA All-Star Break. Brown suffered a maxillary facial fracture after colliding with Jayson Tatum (he/him) in the 1st quarter in the win against the Philadelphia 76ers last Wednesday. Brown’s timetable for her return is uncertain, but it’s not looking like it will be long term.
Before the deadline, there were several rumors about what the C’s would do at the deadline. One widely speculated rumor involved trading Brown for Brooklyn Net Kevin Durant (he/him). Brown’s injury the night before the deadline may be a factor for that trade not happening. Durant ended up being traded to the Phoenix Suns along with TJ Warren (he/him) for Cameron Johnson (he/him), former Celtic Jae Crowder (he/him), Mikal Bridges (he/him), four unprotected first-round picks (2023, 2025, 2027, & 2029) and a 2028 first-round pick swap.
The Celtics maintain sole possession of 1st place in the Eastern Conference, and have the best record in the league. The Milwaukee Bucks are close behind, and may pull ahead if Boston’s minor trade proves to be not enough.