The Portland Trail Blazers may end up trading Damian Lillard away this offseason. The Boston Celtics could opt to keep Jaylen Brown alongside Jayson Tatum and run it back during the 2023-24 season. However, if Boston opts to shake things up and make Brown available, and Portland ends up keeping Lillard, the Blazers would profile as an interesting landing destination for Brown.
Lillard has not had a true co-star since CJ McCollum. The Blazers do feature a talented roster though. Portland might just have enough talent and trade assets in fact to convince the Celtics into making a trade with them if Boston were to consider dealing Jaylen Brown away.
Let's take a look at the perfect Jaylen Brown trade the Blazers must offer the Celtics to help Damian Lillard.
Celtics trade return
Anfernee Simons would likely need to headline the trade. Simons is a young player who's displayed signs of stardom. After a strong 2021-22 campaign, Simons took another step forward this past year.
During the 2022-23 season, Simons averaged 21.1 points per game on 44.7 percent field goal and 37.7 percent three-point shooting. He also dished out 4.1 assists per contest. He's improving as a defender as well, and could be a future All-Star.
The Celtics wouldn't necessarily be rebuilding by trading Jaylen Brown away, but they would be re-tooling. Simons would give them a younger option next to Jayson Tatum who they could extend at some point.
In addition to Simons, Portland would need to trade their 2023 first-round pick. This is where the trade gets especially interesting. By trading this pick away, the Celtics would likely be receiving either Brandon Miller or Scoot Henderson.
Victor Wembanyama is going to be the first overall selection. That leaves Miller or Henderson as the expected No. 2 and 3 picks in the 2023 NBA Draft. Either player would catch the Celtics' attention. It would also be the most necessary trade asset in Boston deciding to trade Jaylen Brown away.
Finally, the Celtics would probably ask for one or two more players. The Blazers could work this out, but since we are making the perfect trade, perhaps Nassir Little would be a quality fit for the Celtics.
Jaylen Brown with the Blazers
So why give up so much to get Jaylen Brown. After all, drafting a future star and pairing him alongside Damian Lillard, Anfernee Simons, and Jusuf Nurkic in Portland could help the Blazers contend soon.
Brown is a superstar. He doesn't always receive as much credit as he deserves since Jayson Tatum steals many headlines. Although Brown endured his struggles in the Eastern Conference Finals, he's an aggressive player on both sides of the ball who would likely perform well alongside Lillard.
Brown would be able to play off the ball at times, which could lead to easier scoring opportunities with Lillard running the point. They would create a star-studded duo that could lead to other players developing interest in joining the Blazers.
Again, there is a lot of doubt around the NBA that the Celtics will actually trade Jaylen Brown. Boston has been a consistent playoff contender and they may feel as if they can bring home a championship with their Tatum-Brown duo leading the way. If the Blazers are willing to trade Simons and the third overall pick though, one has to imagine the Celtics will at least consider a trade.