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Jayson Tatum: Anger over All-NBA Snub Had 'Nothing to Do' with Losing $32.6M Bonus

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVJuly 13, 2021

AP Photo/Kathy Willens

Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum said Monday his frustration with being left off the All-NBA teams for the 2020-21 season had "nothing to do" with the impact on his next contract.

Tatum is scheduled to start a five-year, $163 million deal next season. If he had been named as one of the six All-NBA forwards, the total value of that contract would have risen to $195.6 million, a $32.6 million increase.

"Yeah, I was mad about it and it had nothing to do with the money," Tatum told Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe. "I just felt like I increased my assists, my points, my rebounds. I clearly had a better season this year than last season. With COVID and how it affected our team, I guess people held that against me. I clearly should have made one of those teams but it will happen, but just get better for next year."

He added: "How could you watch my game and the season I had and think I wasn’t one of the best 15 players?"

The forwards selected over Tatum were: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kawhi Leonard, Julius Randle, LeBron James, Jimmy Butler and Paul George.

While the 23-year-old Duke product put together his best statistical season, averaging 26.4 points, 7.4 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 2.9 threes across 64 appearances, he ranked 40th among all NBA players in ESPN's Real Plus-Minus and 41st in FiveThirtyEight's Total Raptor.

Tatum, who publicly discussed the lingering impact of COVID-19 on his performance throughout the season, previously hinted on the Beyond the Press podcast (via Darren Hartwell of NBC Sports Boston) that the money was part of the equation but added he was "more frustrated" about the perceived snub in general.

"I know I should have made it, just I guess with the season I had," he said in June. "I mean, $33 million on the line. Obviously, that would make anyone feel some type of way."

Financial details aside, Tatum will remain a crucial piece of the Celtics' future as they attempt to bounce back from a lackluster 36-36 season that ended with a first-round playoff exit to the Brooklyn Nets.

The two-time All-Star is under contract with Boston through the 2024-25 season, with a $37.1 million player option for 2025-26.

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