Despite trade rumors swirling for months on end, many had their doubts Danny Ainge would actually pull the trigger on a deal when push came to shove. Well, on Thursday he did — twice. The Boston Celtics acquired three new players in guard Evan Fournier and bigs Moritz Wagner and Luke Kornet. Yet, with the new additions to Boston’s rotations, of course, came the deduction of a few roster mainstays.
Daniel Theis, who had started 101 games for the Cs over the past two seasons was shipped off to Chicago alongside wing Javonte Green. As for offseason addition and former All-Star Jeff Teague, he was dealt to the Magic.
While no Celtics likely wanted to see any of these players moved, it was the departure of Green that stung All-Star forward Jayson Tatum the most.
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Jayson Tatum on Javonte Green Trade: ‘I Guess This is Just Part of It’
The Celtics went into Milwaukee on Friday night and came away with a huge win, topping the Bucks 122-114. However, Tatum, who scored a team-high 34 points, spent much of the post-game presser focused less on the team’s victory and more so on the personal hardship of having to say goodbye to Javonte Green.
“I didn’t see that coming,” Tatum said of Green’s trade to the Bulls. “He was someone I was super, super close with. I loved having him around. That was tough, for all of us. Especially for myself, too. [Green] was someone I was real close with as a friend. Obviously, he helped us in the locker room, in the time he did get opportunities. I guess this is just part of it.”
This wasn’t the first time Tatum has addressed the trade of Green and his fellow ex-teammates. The 23-year-old star took to Instagram shortly after the deals were struck to bid farewell Teague, Theis and Green individually. With that said, his goodbye to Green clearly carried a bit more meaning.
“Damn! My right hand man @savagewoo2 we still locked in my boy,” Tatum wrote.
You can see all three posts below:
Tatum’s Aggressive Play Carries Celtics to Win
Boston’s victory on Friday night snapped an eight-game winning streak for the Bucks. More importantly, it got the Cs back in the win column, as they had dropped five of their previous six games. A key catalyst in the team’s victory was Tatum’s ability to attack the rim with ease. The Missouri native shot 13-of-18 from the field on the night, posting a game-high 34 points.
“I just think the most important thing for him is to have an aggressive mind-set,” Celtics coach Brad Stevens said, via The Boston Globe. “And I do think that sometimes he needs to be ready to catch and shoot instead of catch, floor it and then find a shot that may be more difficult than the one he passed up. When he turns the corner and attacks quickly, and then plays off that catch-and-shoot like that, he just scores an easier 34.”
Tatum relayed Stevens’ take, noting “I just tried to be more aggressive and attacking the rim a little bit more and that opened up the game for me a little bit.”