Jaylen Brown has been the stuff of trade rumors of late after the All-Star swingman was linked to a possible move to the Brooklyn Nets in exchange for want-away superstar Kevin Durant. This is far from the first time Brown has seen his name dragged in trade whispers, too. As a matter of fact, former NBA champ turned basketball analyst Kendrick Perkins recently revealed that Brown was nearly shipped off to the Houston Rockets for James Harden last year.
According to Big Perk, he had a lengthy conversation about this exact possibility with then-Celtics president Danny Ainge. After an in-depth discussion between the pair, however, Ainge made it abundantly clear that he had no intention of moving Brown (h/t Asmir Pekmic of spotrskeeda):
“Brown could have been traded for James Harden when he wanted out of the Rockets, wanted out of Houston,” Perkins said. “Me and Danny had an hour conversation about it, then he said, ‘I ain’t trading Jaylen Brown for James Harden,’ because he knew his value.”
Harden, who now plies his trade with the Philadelphia 76ers, eventually forced his way out of the Houston Rockets. He ended up joining Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving in Brooklyn — a powerhouse trio that ended up being short-lived. If the chips had fallen a bit differently, however, Harden may have found himself in Boston, with Brown taking his talents to Houston.
Perkins also pointed out, however, just how much value Danny Ainge saw in Jaylen Brown. He knew how important the 6-foot-6 guard/forward was to the team, and he was adamant that he just didn’t want to trade him — not even for James Harden.