Jayson Tatum Sends Strong Message on Celtics Championship Odds

Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Boston Celtics

Getty Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Boston Celtics

The Boston Celtics might have fallen at the final hurdle in the 2022 NBA Playoffs, but they’re still in a position to be contenders for the foreseeable future.

Since the off-season began, Brad Stevens has added both Malcolm Brogdon and Danilo Gallinari to the rotation, providing the Celtics with additional depth, size, scoring, and in Brogdon’s case, perimeter defense. Suddenly, Boston looks a far scarier proposition than they did last season, and that’s enough to get any team looking over their shoulder.

During an August 4 interview with NBC Sports Boston, budding superstar Jayson Tatum took a moment to send a strong message to the rest of the NBA, declaring his team capable of returning to the NBA Finals, and winning the elusive 18th championship.

“What kind of competitor would I be if I said no (to Boston’s ability to win a championship)? I always believe in myself and believe in my teammates. Obviously, we were close, got to game six, and didn’t make it happen. So, this off-season, everything is about getting back to that point and getting over the hump. We’ve added two great pieces, that I feel make us a lot better, and compliments our team really well,” Tatum said when asked if he believed the Celtics could win a championship next season.

Tatum was elite last season, making the 2022 All-Star team, and being voted into the All-NBA first team, while also averaging 26.9 points, eight rebounds, and 4.4 assists per game during the regular season and seeing those averages stand tall in the post-season, with the St. Louis native dropping 25.6 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 6.2 assists on his way to the NBA finals.

Tatum Throws Support Behind Jaylen Brown

Since the pairing of Tatum and Brown were crowned as the future of the Celtics, there have been questions about their ability to play alongside one another, and more importantly, whether or not they can be good enough to bring a championship to Boston.

Of course, those questions were essentially answered this past season, as both Brown and Tatum proved capable of raising their performance level in the biggest games of their career.

“We just try to stay in the moment. It’s not necessarily about what our legacy would look like if we did this, that, and the third. Just trying to be the best versions of ourselves, the best players that we can be, and compete at the highest level. I think we really took those next steps last season. And we’ll be the first to tell you that we got more to do. More to accomplish. And we’re eager to do so… Despite all the people that said that we couldn’t play together, we always believed that we could,” Tatum said during an Interview with NBC Sports Boston on August 4. 

Since last season ended, Brown has seen his name floated around in trade rumors regarding a potential deal for Kevin Durant, but judging by Tatum’s words, the duo still believe they can finish what they started when they were both drafted by the Celtics.

Tatum Could Potentially Earn Mind-Boggling Contract

Beyond winning a championship, and proving himself as one of the NBA’s premier talents, Jayson Tatum will have another goal to try and reach next season – making a repeat appearance on an All-NBA team. No, Tatum shouldn’t be targeting All-NBA for the sake of his resume, but rather, because it will ensure his eligibility for a supermax contract – a deal that could keep him in Boston throughout his entire prime.

“The Celtics, Jayson Tatum earned All-NBA honors in 2021-22 and will become supermax eligible if he earns All-NBA once again in 2022-23. However, Tatum would have to wait until the 2024 offseason to sign a five-year, $298 million extension. He is ineligible next offseason because he is one year short of the years of service criteria,” ESPN analyst Bobby Marks wrote on August 4.

Of course, Tatum will need to manage his own personal agenda with that of the team, and ensure that he’s producing the right type of performance to appease all of the lofty expectations on his shoulders. But, considering the developmental jump the 24-year-old forward took this season, it’s not hard to envision him doing it all next season.

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