Perhaps the worst kept secret in the NBA is that Jayson Tatum has a lot of love for the Los Angeles Lakers. He was a massive Kobe Bryant fan growing up and even wore his old Lakers uniform for a commercial before the season. He was drafted by the Boston Celtics and is under contract through at least 2025. The situation there could sour quickly if the team doesn’t figure things out.
Boston is 18-21 and is the 11th seed in the Eastern Conference. They are coming off a 108-105 loss to the New York Knicks and it’s clear the Celtics aren’t title contenders this season. After the loss, Tatum gave some eye-opening comments.
“In the grand scheme of things, I look back to those years when we were going to the Conference Finals and it makes you really appreciate those moments, because it’s hard, it’s not easy,” Tatum said, via The Athletic. “Early on in my rookie year, I thought it was normal.”
“It’s tough but we’ve just gotta regroup. Obviously losses, this stretch kind of is tough, losing leads and just not finishing it out in the fourth quarter.”
Those comments won’t exactly inspire Celtics fans but Lakers fans are loving what they’re seeing.
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Lakers Fans Want Tatum in Los Angeles
LeBron James is still playing at an MVP level but he just turned 37 and can’t play forever. The Lakers will eventually need a younger superstar to pair with Anthony Davis. At just 23-years-old, Tatum would certainly fit the bill. He’s already been an All-Star twice and continues to be one of the NBA’s great young players.
Due to his obvious love for the Lakers, much of the fan base would love to see him in Los Angeles. After fans saw Tatum’s comments following the Knicks loss, many commented on how he needs to come back to the Lakers and get back to winning. Some fans even said Los Angeles needs to rescue the young star.
Will Tatum Be a Laker in the Future?
If the Lakers believe that Tatum will be on the team eventually, they’re going to have to wait. The Celtics will have no interest in helping their archrival unless the young forward demands a trade and say he won’t play anywhere else. Also, Russell Westbrook is the only player the Lakers can trade for Tatum. As of right now, it doesn’t look like there’s a team in the NBA that wants Westbrook at the current money he’s getting paid. They could trade Anthony Davis for the Celtics star but that seems unlikely.
The earliest the Lakers can realistically land Tatum is in 2025. He has a player option that year. If he declines it, he’ll be headed to free agency. By then, Los Angeles won’t be tied to Westbrook anymore and should have enough money to sign Tatum unless they land a different superstar in the meantime. If the Celtics continue to struggle, the Lakers will certainly be among the favorites to land the two-time All-Star.