As the Boston Celtics march on through the offseason, their primary goal will be to retool the roster and make it back to the NBA Finals next year. They’ve already gotten off to a great start in that regard, adding Danilo Gallinari and Malcolm Brogdon.
In addition, they have found themselves in the middle of trade rumors. Recent reports have indicated that they could be interested in trading for Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant, which would require giving up star wing Jaylen Brown.
However, while the Celtics may have explored the idea of dealing Brown, the one player who they would never trade is Jayson Tatum. And according to HoopsHype, he is the fourth-most valuable player in the NBA in terms of trade value, making him one of the top assets in the league.
“The promise Tatum showed in his rookie season has finally formed into a consistent superstar,” wrote the HoopsHype staff. “He has proven he can be the No. 1 guy on a championship-contending team when he has the right support group around him. There’s no trade package that could possibly get Boston’s interest for him after the Finals run they had.”
Despite this, some people around the league have still suggested that the Celtics part ways with their franchise cornerstone.
GM Suggests Tatum Trade
On July 30, Rich Bucher of Fox Sports wrote an article detailing what a Durant-Celtics trade could look like. He spoke to an anonymous Eastern Conference GM for the article who suggested that, instead of trading Brown and other pieces, the Celtics give up Tatum.
“KD and Tatum are talented, but I don’t know how tough they are. I know he’s a lot younger than KD, but if you’re just trying to win one title, do you trade Tatum for Durant? I’d do that before I’d give them Jaylen and Smart,” the GM told Bucher. “Brown is valued a little less than Tatum because he’s not the skill darling. He’s a high-level athlete who has developed into a good player. But I have to think Brooklyn would prefer Tatum and you wouldn’t have to give up Smart.”
Giving up Tatum in any deal would shock the NBA landscape to its core, and based on HoopsHype’s article, it’s highly unlikely that the Celtics ever explore that sort of trade under their own volition. The only way they would give up Tatum is if he asks to be moved.
But with his recent speech on the importance of team chemistry and how excited he is to run it back, that seems unlikely.
Tatum Talks Team Chemistry
During his annual youth basketball camp, Tatum caught up with reporters. He talked about how important team chemistry is to winning and said that he’s excited to get back with the team next year because they have “unfinished business.”
“Chemistry is half the battle. I feel like you can have a great team with great talent, and not necessarily gel together. You guys saw we figured it out in January and never looked back…It’s a little different, knowing that we got to a certain point and were so close. And we’re excited to get back to that, get back to the group because we’ve got unfinished business,” Tatum said.
While Tatum’s beliefs aren’t necessarily enough to prevent the Celtics from breaking up their current core, his confidence in the roster has to mean something.