On February 18, 2022, Boston Celtics star Jayson Tatum appeared on JJ Redick’s podcast, “The Old Man & The Three,” where he talked about the influence future NBA Hall-of-Famer Chris Paul has had on him, among other things. Following Shams Charania’s report that Paul and the Phoenix Suns are exploring their options, the clip of Tatum shouting out Paul resurfaced.
In this clip, Tatum praised Paul’s intelligence as a player, specifying one play in particular that he learned from Paul.
“I had never heard of a 3-for-2, and the person I learned that from was Chris Paul,” Tatum said. “The first time I heard him say it was my third year. He was in OKC, and I asked him after the game. I was like, ‘What the hell is a 3-for-2?’ He was like, ‘Basically, you shoot it at 1:05, 1:03. So then you get the ball back two more times. I literally asked him after the game.”
Tatum added that knowing plays like that is what makes Paul a rare talent, which is why Tatum would like to play with him.
“It’s things like that. They’re like so valuable because Chris Paul is one of the smartest players, right? Somebody that you would love to have on your team and I absolutely hate playing against. I hate playing against Chris.”
On June 8, Tatum’s soundbite about Paul resurfaced on Twitter following the speculation of the Celtics potentially getting Paul.
If Paul and the Suns are indeed finished with one another, Tatum’s wish may very well come true.
Suns Interested in Payton Pritchard
“Payton Pritchard, the former first-round pick who fell out of Boston’s rotation, has several supporters in Phoenix’s front office,” Fischer wrote on June 9. “(He) is expected to feature prominently in the NBA’s general trade landscape this summer when Pritchard becomes extension eligible.”
If the Celtics want to go after Paul this offseason, Pritchard could potentially be used to make a trade, though obviously, the Celtics would have to add more salaries to complete a trade like that since Pritchard is owed $4 million for this coming season while Paul is owed $30 million.
Should a trade occur, Pritchard could have a bigger role with the Suns than he did with the Celtics this season.
Marcus Smart Mentioned in Trade for Chris Paul
Following all the reports about Chris Paul, Colin Cowherd proposed the following trade between the Celtics and Suns.
Celtics receive: Chris Paul
Suns receive: Marcus Smart
After floating the trade, Cowherd explained why the Celtics could afford to have someone like Paul despite his limitations.
“Who are the Celtics’ two stars? Young in their prime. Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown. They play 70 games. They play a lot of minutes. It’s okay if Chris Paul plays 55 games. It’s okay if he plays 30 minutes, not 40 because they’ve got that covered,” Cowherd said.
Cowherd also said that the Celtics and Paul could benefit from each other.
“They don’t have a facilitator. They don’t, and Chris Paul is. He’s offensive-minded. ‘Well, he’s not much for offense!’ Well, Tatum and Brown are. Robert Williams near the basket is. They got enough defense. They don’t need to double down on defense. They need to double down and find a quarterback and facilitator and somebody to get them into their offense.”