Unlike Brooklyn Nets disgruntled star Kevin Durant, Boston Celtics’ Jayson Tatum faced the music during Tuesday’s premier night of the NYC Point Gods documentary in New York.
Tatum took the high road and found the middle ground while reacting to the reported Celtics’ pursuit of Durant.
“I don’t think any of that. I just play basketball,” Tatum said. “I mean, I played with [Durant] during the Olympics. Obviously, he’s a great player. But that’s not my decision. I love our team. I love the guys we got. I don’t know if the reports are true or not.”
According to The Athletic, the Celtics offered Brown along with Derrick White and a first-round draft pick for Durant. The Nets declined the offer and countered with a package that includes Brown, Defensive Player of the Year Marcus Smart and multiple draft picks.
But Tatum does not believe the reports.
“I don’t believe everything I see on TV… You never really know what’s true and what’s not,” Tatum said when asked directly about Brown being the centerpiece of the Celtics package for Durant.
The Tatum and Brown combo anchored the Celtics’ run to the NBA Finals last season, including a first-round sweep of Durant and the Nets. Ironically, Tatum and Brown arrived in Boston via Nets picks from the infamous Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce trade in 2013.
He like the Celtics as they are pic.twitter.com/6VnGZNh98d
— Jared Schwartz (@jschwartz115) July 26, 2022
Tatum and Brown have led the Celtics to three Eastern Conference Finals since 2018 and came within two wins away from hanging Boston’s banner no. 18 this past season. The Celtics believe Durant, who will turn 34 in September, can get them over the hump.
Tatum, however, would rather dwell on the Celtics’ offseason acquisitions of former Rookie of the Year Malcolm Brogdon and ex-Knick Danilo Gallinari than the rumored pursuit of Durant.
“We got two new pieces,” Tatum said. “I love our team. Like I said, I just go out there and play with my teammates. I don’t put that hat on and make decisions.”
Durant requested a trade out of Brooklyn in June and reportedly named the Phoenix Suns and Miami Heat his preferred top landing spots. But the Nets’ hefty price tag, boosted by the Utah Jazz’s haul for Rudy Gobert, hasn’t been met.
With the Suns and Heat unable to put together a commensurate package, the Celtics have seized the opportunity.
Tatum would only believe once a deal is done or Brad Stevens tells him it’s true.
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