The Boston Celtics knew they got a special player when they drafted Jayson Tatum in 2017. He is now eligible for a contract extension this offseason.
The Boston Celtics knew they got a special player when the team selected Jayson Tatum third overall in the 2017 NBA Draft. Since being drafted, Tatum made the All-Rookie First Team in 2018, won the Skills Challenge during All-Star weekend in 2019, as well as earning his first All-Star selection this past season in 2020.
Tatum has continuously propelled Boston to newer and higher heights. In doing so, he’s carried the Celtics this season by averaging 23.6 points, 7.1 rebounds, and 2.9 assists per game.
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It’s worth mentioning that Tatum was also coming off an impressive month of February before the suspension of the current NBA season.
While shooting 49.4 percent from the field and 48.1 percent from behind the arc in February, Tatum took the league by surprise by averaging 30.7 points, 7.9 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 1.2 steals, and 1.3 blocks per game in the month.
It led to Tatum becoming just the fifth Celtics player in history to average at least 30 points in one month, joining the elite company of Larry Bird, Paul Pierce, John Havlicek, and Isaiah Thomas.
Tatum also climbed the ladder this season and is now 10th all-time for the most 3-pointers in Celtics history with 388.
After three consecutive years of being impressed, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst reported that the Boston Celtics will “most likely” make a max contract offer to Tatum:
“If Jayson Tatum is the superstar that they envisioned when they began this whole rebuilding process when they traded Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce for all of those draft picks hoping to land a player like this, we could see ‘Glory Days’ for the Celtics again. But it’s very much up in the air, and I’m gonna tell ya, they’re gonna have to pay him like it because after this season ends, he is going to get most likely a max contract. They’re going to bet that he becomes that player.” – Brian Windhorst
Windhorst is right. The Celtics can and will be poised for greatness if they can lock Tatum up for the next four to five years – and hopefully for his entire career – in Boston.
In fact, this is a good time to mention that the C’s have done a great job of building and grooming their homegrown talent over the years – Marcus Smart signed a four-year extension in 2018 worth $52 million, as well as Jaylen Brown, who inked a four-year, $115 million rookie contract extension in October.
While the Celtics know that Tatum is next in line for a payday, they’re also aware that at 22 years-old he probably hasn’t even hit his ceiling yet, which makes Tatum a key element to the future success of the Celtics.
The sky’s the limit for a player like Tatum. He’s a player who is never satisfied with his work and is always looking to improve and do better than he did the game before. Tatum mentally tests himself on a game by game basis, meaning that he studies himself to the point of being confident enough to shoot and score on anybody in the league.
To further prove that point, Tatum created a side-step, step-back 3-point shot that allows him to create enough space on just about any defender to shoot an almost uncontested shot. We have seen him successfully pull it off against Paul George, Kawhi Leonard, LeBron James, and even Anthony Davis.
Danny Ainge’s 2014 blueprint for the future of the Celtics is finally surfacing to life. With a team built around Tatum for the next four to five years of a potential max contract extension, the Boston Celtics will be poised to hang up at least their 18th championship banner and hopefully more.