Jayson Tatum Possibly Hinting at Celtics Adding Former Teammate, Good Friend

Jayson Tatum

Getty Jayson Tatum of the Boston Celtics

The Boston Celtics could be looking to fill one of their two-way contract slots, and Jayson Tatum may be hinting at which player they plan to fill one of those slots with. On Tatum’s Instagram story, he shared a reel of his former college teammate Harry Giles III doing a workout.

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Tatum and Giles both played for Duke University during the 2016-17 season, and their friendship has been well-chronicled. Giles was originally hyped as a generational talent before multiple knee injuries derailed his stock. Despite the injuries, Giles was still drafted in the first round in 2017 anyway and has played for the Sacramento Kings and Portland Trail Blazers but has not played since 2022.

The Celtics added one of Tatum’s former college teammates and friends to their coaching staff when they hired Amile Jefferson as one of their assistants, so they clearly want to have people around who have a good rapport with their superstar.

Jayson Tatum Helped Harry Giles in New CBA

On June 29, Bleacher Report’s Chris Haynes revealed new details on the league’s new Collective Bargaining Agreement, including the new “Harry Giles III Rule.”

“A new provision on two-way contracts in the new CBA will informally be dubbed the “Harry Giles III rule,” which will allow NBA players who sit out an entire season not to have that year count toward the three-year maximum service for two-way eligibility,” Haynes wrote.

Haynes then explained the difference between the previous agreement and the new one.

“Under the old guideline, Giles III wouldn’t have qualified for two-way status entering the 2023-24 season because he had technically been on an NBA roster for four seasons. However, he missed the entirety of his 2017-18 rookie season with the Sacramento Kings due to knee issues, and that season officially counted as the first of his four years in the NBA.

“Giles’ agent, Daniel Hazan, challenged that bylaw and reached out to the league and the National Basketball Players Association to make the case that his client—or any other player—should not have a season counted against them if they did not play for a full season in their first three years.”

According to Haynes, Tatum also reached out to the NBA regarding the eligibility for a two-way contract to help Giles.

“I reached out in support,” Tatum told Haynes. “Just trying help my guy. He deserves this shot.”

Grant Williams Was Jayson Tatum’s Closest Friend on Celtics

Following the Grant Williams trade, The Boston Globe’s Adam Himmelsbach reported that Williams was perhaps Tatum’s closest friend on the team, among other details, which could be an issue.

“Tatum keeps a pretty tight circle, and Williams was probably his closest friend on the team. Over the past two years, the Celtics have gone out of their way to appease their franchise cornerstone however they can, and the Williams move appears to run counter to that.”

Himmelsbach added that Tatum went along with the decision to trade Williams, understanding what was best for the team.

“But one league source said Wednesday that Tatum understood the decision and is primarily focused on the construction of a championship-level roster around him.”

Himmelsbach added that, despite the lack of options in free agency now, the Celtics could look into bringing back an ex-Celtic who is also considered to be one of Tatum’s good friends.

“The list of compelling free agents is relatively sparse. Maybe the team eventually looks to bring back Blake Griffin or former Celtics wing Javonte Green.”