Jayson Tatum doesn’t appear to be going anywhere anytime soon.
At least one opposing team tried to acquire Tatum this summer, but the Celtics had an “insane” asking price for him, an executive recently told NBA insider Keith Smith at Summer League.
Tatum had a standout rookie season but was inconsistent in 2018-19, averaging 15.7 points and 6.0 rebounds in 31.1 minutes per game while shooting 37.3% from 3-point range.
The Celtics’ roster underwent a major overhaul this offseason. They lost Kyrie Irving (Nets), Al Horford (76ers) and Marcus Morris (Knicks) in free agency but signed star Kemba Walker away from the Hornets.
“I don’t know if there’s anything anyone individually necessarily feels like they should have done or could have done (to keep Irving),” Boston coach Brad Stevens told reporters earlier this month, via the Boston Globe. “That’s part of free agency. You can go where you want at the end of the day. I enjoyed Kyrie. I like Kyrie, and I wish him nothing but health and success. … I don’t fault him one bit for choosing to follow whatever he wants to do. That’s his right.”
Boston also added center Enes Kanter while Gordon Hayward is expected to take a step forward after he struggled last season following a devastating leg injury in 2017-18.
The executive added:
“(Tatum’s) going to be an All-Star. If his numbers were down, it’s only because no 19-year-old had been at that level before. Kemba (Walker) is a great addition and (Gordon) Hayward is going to be better, but Tatum is the franchise in Boston.”
The Celtics entered last season as the favorites to win the East but finished with a 49-33 record and were eliminated by the Bucks in five games in the conference semifinals.