Celtics’ Jayson Tatum Sends Warning to Ex-Teammate After Mavs’ Trade

Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics

Getty Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics

For those who may be tardy to the party, the Dallas Mavericks acquired Grant Williams in a three-team trade with the San Antonio Spurs and Boston Celtics during the offseason. They also acquired two second-round picks from the Spurs as part of the deal.

Following the trade, Adam Himmelsbach of the Boston Globe detailed a playful exchange that occurred between Williams and Boston Celtics star Jayson Tatum.

“I’m gonna bust your [butt] when we play Dallas,” Tatum told Williams.

Williams then retorted “You think? You can’t go left. And I’m gonna be physical with you, and you’ll go cry to the referees.”

Joe Mazzula Sounds off on Grant Williams

Williams was one of the Celtics’ glue guys and an integral part of helping them reach the NBA Finals for the first time in over a decade in 2022. But speculation began to grow about if the Celtics had the means to retain Williams, who was quickly gaining a reputation as one of the best defenders in the league.

The franchise knew that one of their stars, Jaylen Brown, was due for an extension, which ended up being the richest deal in NBA history when he signed a 5-year, $304 million deal this summer. Tatum will also be due for an extension soon, as he has a player option in 2025. He is also currently on a 5-year, $163 million deal. With so much money invested in their All-Star tandem, there was not much left to offer Williams, and thus, the sign and trade had to get executed.

But despite the split, Celtics head coach Joe Mazzulla had nothing but glowing things to say about Williams following his trade to the Mavericks.

“Anytime you get a guy, and you have someone that’s been with you for three or four years, I think the number one goal is to leave it better than you found it and I thought Grant did a great job of that. I’m excited for him to have an opportunity in Dallas, doing what he does best, and I wish him nothing but the best,” Mazzulla said to reporters via CLNS.

 “There were a lot of relationships that I had as an assistant coach, and he was a guy that I was able to get really close with over my few years here, along (with) a few others. And so, just grateful for who he is as a person, and I’m excited for him as a player.”

Insider Cites Christian Wood for ‘Personality Issues’

This summer, the Mavericks made the tough decision to move on from their big man, Christian Wood. But it was not just the Mavericks who were wary of signing Wood. Most teams in the league had their reservations which is why he remained unsigned for most of the free agency period.

The star big man played valuable minutes for the Mavericks last season, averaging 16.6 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 1.8 assists per game. He also shot an efficient 37.6% from beyond the arc.

Yet and still, in the weeks leading up to training camp, with those numbers, Wood remained a free agent before signing a two-year deal with the Lakers in September. It causes you to ponder why. 

In August, Dan Woike of the Los Angeles Times reported there were “personality issues” surrounding the former Mavericks big man, but the Lakers were still interested in signing him.

“[Christian] Wood, from what I can tell, still seems like the [Lakers’] top choice despite the defensive shortcomings and personality issues,” Woike wrote.