On an All Star Saturday when Anthony Davis told the NBA world that the Celtics are on his list of preferred destinations and Jayson Tatum, the potential crown jewel of a trade that could send Davis to Boston, was crowned the most skilled basketball player in the world, Tatum talked about the trade deadline, his sophomore season, and his future with the franchise with ESPN’s Sage Steele.
For most teams, the passing of the trade deadline is cause for relief, but for Boston, it poses a unique limbo. Sandwiched between now and July 1st is the rest of this season and hopefully, a long playoff run into June. However, despite the awkwardness, Tatum has grown on and off the court in his second year and become more aware of the behind-the-scenes activity.
“You start to understand that this is a business. I play basketball and I just gotta control what I can control, but I love being on the Celtics. I want to play there my whole career,” Tatum said.
When asked more about all the trade rumors during a Media Day Twitter event, Tatum elaborated:
I don’t take it personal. I understood coming into the NBA that it’s a business and they have to make the best decision for them, whatever that may be. Especially right now in a contract, I can’t control anything. ... It didn’t really bother me. I wasn’t really fazed by it. A lot of it was rumors, I don’t know if it was true or not, but my job is just to play basketball. I didn’t get fazed by anything I saw on TV.”
His focus on the now has been impressive. In the eight games that followed Anthony Davis’ trade request when Tatum’s name started to circulate in rumors, he’s averaged just over 18 points shooting 48.2% from the field with 7 rebounds and 2 assists. He’s shown a higher propensity as a professional scorer in getting to the free throw line and been Boston’s second leading scorer during that 6-2 stretch.