Brad Stevens has been no stranger to trade rumors for years as coach of the Boston Celtics. However, a specific report involving Ben Simmons and All-Star Jaylen Brown led him to take action earlier this week after The Athletic reported Boston’s interest in the All-Star forward and Philly’s asking price for him being Brown.

In his weekly interview with Toucher and Rich on 98.5 The Sports Hub, Stevens threw cold water on that report and confirmed MassLive’s reporting from Monday that the team had no interest in moving Brown.

“I just walked up to Jaylen and said, ‘Hey, your name’s all over the place, as you know. Obviously, from our standpoint, you’re a Celtic and a guy that we obviously we think exceptionally high of, and, you know, nothing doing,’” Stevens said. “I just wanted to make sure he had that peace of mind.”

Brown’s response?

“Thumbs up, good,” Stevens said. “I don’t think he thought twice about it either.”

In his new role as president of basketball operations with the Celtics, these are waters the former head coach is going to have to navigate regularly. Yet, when this particular rumor involving trading his young All-Star for a holdout came up, Stevens had an entertaining response.

“I laugh,” Stevens said. “I’ve just been through it so much over the last however many years. It’s not necessarily that – I know everybody has their own thing and has to react to everything. But the way things are written, the way that stories take hold, the way that rumors catch fire, I’ve just been through it too much over the last however many years to pay much attention.

“Obviously, if there is something that gains enough steam or gains enough media attention, then you want to have conversations with the people in your building just to make sure that they know what’s real.”

Stevens did not deny that the Celtics have been active already in speaking to other teams. He’s already said the Celtics will ‘find out’ if they have the right mix of talent on this roster amid a 5-6 start to the regular season. Yet, there is a fine line between having those informal talks with other teams and considering moving one of the team’s pillars.

“When you get into the trade rumors, obviously, there are going to be rumors, there’s going to be talks,” Stevens said. “We have to be on the phone, but we also have to be prudent and smart about what we are doing with our own team. I would say most of the time I’ve been here at least, there’s a lot less to it than what’s real.”

KINGS: New Orleans Pelicans executive David Griffin and Kings assistant coach Alvin Gentry reportedly had to be physically separated during an altercation following a game in New Orleans last month.

According to Bleacher Report, Griffin and Gentry were involved in a heated exchange following Sacramento’s 113-99 victory on Oct. 29 at Smoothie King Center in New Orleans.

Gentry spent five years as the Pelicans’ head coach before Griffin fired him in August 2020, reportedly telling people around the league he had given Gentry “all the answers to the test, and he still fails.” Griffin hired Stan Van Gundy to replace Gentry, but Van Gundy was fired after one season.

Griffin reportedly approached Gentry after the game against Sacramento to “offer a warm hello,” but Gentry “brushed off his initial efforts as inauthentic.”

“You must not have given Stan the answers to the test, either,” Gentry shouted at Griffin before the two men had to be separated, sources told Bleacher Report.

Griffin, 48, is now in his third season as the Pelicans’ executive vice president of basketball operations. Gentry, 67, is in his second season as associate head coach in Sacramento, where he serves as Coach Luke Walton’s lead assistant. The Kings have not responded to a request for comment from Gentry.

THURSDAY’S GAME

RAPTORS 115, 76ERS 109: Gary Trent Jr. and Fred VanVleet hit back-to-back 3-pointers over the final 1:10 to lift Toronto to a win at Philadelphia.

VanVleet hit six 3s and scored 32 points, and Trent added 20 to help the Raptors knock off the undermanned Sixers. The Raptors lost to Boston on the front end of a back-to-back, but the late 3s rallied them to a nice road victory.

Joel Embiid, Isaiah Joe, and Matisse Thybulle are still in the NBA’s health and safety protocols and sat out again. Seth Curry did return from a foot injury, and Tobias Harris scored 19 points in his return from a six-game absence after testing positive for COVID-19.

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