Is Jaylen Brown the Celtics' best player? Kendrick Perkins makes bold case

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Darren Hartwell
·2 min read
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Brown over Tatum? Perk makes bold case for Celtics' best player originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

Jaylen Brown is done making steady improvements. The Boston Celtics' fifth-year wing is soaring to new heights.

Brown erupted for a career-high 42 points through three quarters Wednesday in Boston's rout of the Memphis Grizzlies. He's averaging 28 points through five games (tied for sixth in the NBA) one season after averaging a career-high 20.3 points per game.

Just how good is the 24-year-old star? Prior to the Celtics' matchup with the Detroit Pistons on Friday, NBC Sports Boston's Kendrick Perkins dropped a hot take on that subject.

That's right: Perk believes Brown is a better overall player than Jayson Tatum, the new face of the franchise who made his first All-Star Game last season.

"The one thing that Jayson Tatum had over Jaylen Brown was what? His ability to get a bucket. Now, Jaylen Brown has matched that," Perkins said. "And look at who's the best overall player who brings it on both ends of the floor and is the engine to the car. That's Jaylen Brown. And if anybody is arguing that, they're crazy."

Forsberg: Brown shining in increase role is just what C's need

Tatum was third-team All-NBA last season as one of the league's 15 best players, so it's bold to suggest Brown is even better than his young counterpart. The Duke product also has more offensive upside than Brown and has scored more points in four seasons than Brown has in five.

But Perkins noted that while Tatum has the "sexier" game and dazzles on offense, Brown is the "engine" that makes the Celtics run. He's an excellent defender, makes hustle plays and can get to the free throw line, averaging 6.2 free throw attempts per game this season compared to Tatum's 3.0.

Brown's total package has Perkins doubling down on the take he dropped earlier this week.

The Celtics would rather not participate in this debate and be thankful they have two of the best young players in basketball. But it's a testament to Brown's ascension that this is even a conversation.

OddsMoney LinePoint SpreadTotal Points
Boston
-162-3.5O 227.5
Chicago
+135+3.5U 227.5