Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum Reported Cavs Targets to Complete Kyrie Irving Trade

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistAugust 27, 2017

NBA Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving gives instructions while he holds a short basketball clinic with young Taiwanese players in Taipei, Taiwan, Saturday, July 22, 2017.(AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying)
Chiang Ying-ying/Associated Press

The Cleveland Cavaliers are reportedly eyeing Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum as potential additions to complete the trade sending Kyrie Irving to the Boston Celtics.

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski appeared on SportsCenter on Sunday and said as much (via Joshua Schrock of NESN):

"Now, Cleveland is going to try to inquire about a couple of the Celtics' young players, Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, who they tried to get in the original trade, that is very unlikely. But Boston still has a war chest of future first-round picks of their own, and some picks they control from other teams, and Cleveland is going to try to get one more of those to finalize this deal."

Wojnarowski previously reported the Cavaliers were looking for additional compensation after Isaiah Thomas' physical raised questions about his hip. Cleveland received Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and the Brooklyn Nets' 2018 first-round pick in the initial trade for Irving.

This is not the first time Cleveland has reportedly been interested in Tatum, who was the No. 3 overall pick in the 2017 draft.

Wojnarowski previously reported the Cavaliers were "fixated on a young star" and listed Tatum as one example. Brown also has the potential to develop into a young star considering he is just 20 years old and garnered critical experience as a rookie while Boston advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2016-17.

However, Wojnarowski cautioned on his SportsCenter appearance the Celtics will "resist" the idea they need to give up more in the trade. "Boston believes that it was completely transparent with Cleveland about where Thomas was physically, his rehab," he said of Thomas' hip injury. "Cleveland's version of this is that they didn't realize how long Thomas could potentially be out this season."

That matters because this is the last year of Thomas' contract. Cleveland's long-term title window is also hanging in the balance because LeBron James has a player option for the 2018-19 season and can become a free agent after the upcoming campaign.

The Cavaliers are looking to maximize what they receive after dealing Irving—a superstar who hit the title-winning shot in Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals—and Brown or Tatum could give them a building block for the future even if James and Thomas eventually leave.


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