Jayson Tatum Backs Current Celtics Team amid Jaylen Brown, Kevin Durant Trade Rumors

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVJuly 27, 2022

Adam Glanzman/Getty Images

Jayson Tatum didn't seem like someone anxious to break up the Boston Celtics after they reached the NBA Finals last season.

Nick Friedell of ESPN reported Tuesday that Tatum didn't want to talk about trade speculation while in New York City for a documentary premiere, but he did say "I love our team."

Shams Charania of The Athletic reported Monday the Celtics offered Jaylen Brown, Derrick White and a draft pick to the Brooklyn Nets for Kevin Durant but were "less inclined" to include Marcus Smart.

It appeared as if Brown wasn't the biggest fan of being included in potential trade packages:

Jaylen Brown @FCHWPO


Boston made the NBA Finals in large part because of Brown's two-way impact. He is just 25 years old with the abilities to stretch the floor from deep, attack off the bounce and defend an opponent's best player, and it's not every day a player of his caliber and age is possibly available in a trade.

It's also not every day a team that just reached the Finals could add a generational talent such as Durant.

Pairing Durant with Tatum could be what maximizes Boston's wide-open championship window. The future Hall of Famer is an all-time player with a resume that includes two titles, two NBA Finals MVPs, the 2013-14 MVP award, four scoring titles, 10 All-NBA selections and 12 All-Star nods.

The Celtics also run the risk of upsetting team chemistry by trying to land Durant, whether they acquire him or not.

Tatum surely isn't going to say anything that could make that possibility worse, especially before a potential trade is finalized. And it isn't a stretch to suggest the Celtics could win the championship if Tatum, Brown, Smart, Robert Williams III and the newly acquired Malcolm Brogdon are leading the way.

Still, this may be the rare opportunity to get a worthwhile return for a player of Brown's caliber.

Bleacher Report's Jake Fischer reported Tuesday that "this seems to be the first moment the Celtics have truly explored the possibility of moving Brown" since they backed away from doing so in previous potential deals for Kawhi Leonard and Anthony Davis.

"There aren't many players Boston would swap Brown for, but the Celtics franchise has coveted Durant since before his 2006-07 draft year, when they fumbled games in an attempt to land him or Greg Oden that June," Fischer wrote.

Maybe the Celtics will land Durant, but Tatum seems like he would be fine with it if they don't.


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