By the look of it, Jayson Tatum may be living his best life come next season. Not only does it appear as if the Boston Celtics could be real players in acquiring All-Star Bradley Beal from the Washington Wizards, but a fellow close friend of the 23-year-old phenom could soon be making his way back to Beantown as well.
Tatum insinuated as much on Friday on his Instagram stories when he wished a happy 28th birthday to his former teammate, Javonte Green.
“Happy birthday my dawg! Real strangers turned into [brothers]!” he wrote. Tatum then followed it up with this interesting tidbit, noting “We running it [back] this year too,” which he then capped off with a clover emoji.
Green, who originally made his way to Boston in 2019 after starring overseas in Germany, appeared in 73 regular-season games for the Celtics until being dealt to the Chicago Bulls at this past season’s trade deadline.
According to the NBA’s CBA (via CBA Breakdown), the Celtics are eligible to reacquire Green this summer, who is an impending free agent.
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Tatum Was Admittedly Upset With Green’s Trade to Chicago
Daniel Theis was undoubtedly the most notable Celtic to dispatch from Boston at this past season’s trade deadline. However, it was Green’s exit that evidently stung the most for Tatum.
“I didn’t see that coming,” he said of Green’s trade to the Bulls following a March victory over the future NBA champion Milwaukee Bucks. “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.”
The Benefits of Bringing Back Green
Green — while a serviceable depth piece — was by no means a pivotal part of Boston’s rotation during his time with the team. In total, he drew just four starts, amassed 813 minutes of floor time and averaged only 3.7 points, 2.0 rebounds and 0.5 assists per game as a Celtic. A move to Chicago did little for his production, as he saw a dip across the board over his 16 games with the Bulls, averaging 2.6 points, 1.2 rebounds and 0.4 assists.
However, Green’s hinted at re-addition to the Celtics’ roster goes well beyond the box score, or even what he brings to the hardwood. When it comes down to it, no Celtics player matters as much to the franchise’s current and future success as Tatum does. With that in mind, as well as the fact that he has a player option set to kick in after the 2024 NBA season, you want to keep the two-time All-Star as happy as humanly possible.
If that means making a run at Bradley Beal, go for it. If that means filling a bottom-end of the roster spot with a close friend in Green, do it. As long as the organization doesn’t favor Tatum’s preferences over what’s best for the team as a whole, they should at least entertain keeping their star content — which in this case, it appears as though they may already have.