Though fans and a majority of media pundits view the Boston Celtics as having one of the most elite one-two punches in the entire association with the likes of Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum, one NBA legend still believes they have ample work to do
During a recent sit-down with Joy De’Angela, Hall of Fame forward Rick Barry recently discussed the state of current player contracts and, in his eyes, how lucrative they have become.
Amid his talk on the matter, he would point out Brown’s newly inked $303.7 million extension (largest in league history) and noted how he, along with Tatum, still has a ways to go before being fully worthy of such a price tag.
“You know what [Brown’s] average in the playoffs for them is? 18.5 points a game. I mean, 18.5 points a game and he’s going to make $69 million in the last year of his contract,” Barry said. “To pay somebody that kind of money, and he’s a nice player I really like him, but man he’s got to improve his game. He turns the ball over too much, he tries to force things, and so [does] his teammate Tatum. That’s one of the reasons they lost to the Warriors two seasons ago. They make too many turnovers.”
Barry’s critique of Brown’s turnover rate is certainly reasonable, as he coughed the ball over 2.9 times per game in 2022-23 and, during the 2023 Eastern Conference Finals, both he and Tatum combined for an egregious 7.3 turnovers a night.
Along with this, he is far from the first person to critique the Celtics for having given the 26-year-old such a lofty new deal.
Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum Fall Out of Top-5 in Duos List
As noted, Ricky Barry is by no means the first person to suggest that Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown still have plenty of work to do when it comes to honing their craft.
Just recently, in fact, Bleacher Report’s Greg Swartz constructed a rankings list for the league’s best active star tandems and, despite their extensive postseason success whilst running alongside one another, the pair were surprisingly listed outside of the top-five slots.
“Even with six years of experience and a trip to the NBA Finals together, Tatum and Brown fell short of cracking the top five here. Brown’s EPM score of plus-2.6 ranked just 46th overall in the NBA, and the two stars combined for a modest plus-5.2 net rating in 3,376 total possessions together, which was actually lower than Boston’s overall net of plus-6.9,” Swartz wrote.
“Both are still improving and should be tied to each other for years to come with Brown’s new monster deal and another coming for Tatum next summer, although some overlapping skills hold them back from the league’s elite here.”
Though they may have missed the qualifications set by Swartz to make the cut for a top-five spot, both Tatum and Brown are coming off of stellar 2022-23 campaigns, with each nabbing All-Star and All-NBA nods with their efforts while combining for per-game averages of 56.7 points, 15.7 rebounds, 8.1 assists, and 2.2 steals.
Kristaps Porzingis Posts Reassuring Video for Celtics Fans
On August 9, reports surfaced claiming that newly acquired star forward Kristaps Porzingis had sustained a foot injury that some suspected could keep him sidelined for the remainder of the FIBA World Cup.
Though such rumblings initially stirred up fear in the hearts of Celtics fans, in the days since the big man himself posted a story on his personal Instagram account of him being active in drills for Team Latvia.
Porzingis has an extensive injury history and has played in over 55 games just three times throughout his NBA career. Over the last five seasons, he has played in 216 out of a potential total of 390 regular season games, largely as a result of health-related ailments.