August 8, 2022 | 12:48 pm EDT Update
JD Shaw: Free agent guard Craig Randall II has signed with the NBL’s Adelaide 36ers. Randall averaged 26.7 points, 5.4 rebounds and 5.8 assists per game in the G League this past season. He most recently played summer league with the Blazers.
“(I learned) that I’m 24 and one of the best players in the world and that I will compete against whoever and take on that challenge,” Tatum said. “In that same breath, I feel like there’s so much I could be better at, and I think that’s the exciting part. That I’m at where I’m at, where there’s so much more I can be, so much more I can learn and so many more experiences to go through.”
Boston gave Tatum the supermax rookie extension. He’s their designated star, even if Brown was the better player in June and has been instrumental to the team’s success. Tatum’s input always matters because they’re building around him. Brown and Smart have undoubtedly been a part of that foundation, but they’ve also been in trade rumors as long as they can remember. Not Tatum. He’s deeply entrenched, though he says he’s staying out of it anyway. “The cool part about his job is Brad don’t tell me how to do my job anymore. You not the coach,” Tatum said with a sly grin. “He lets me do my thing. I let him do his thing. In all honesty, that’s his decision and that’s his job.”
After a conference-finals run in the bubble, Boston seemed primed to take the next step. It stumbled instead. Then last year, it came together in such a whirlwind that Tatum is now the top scorer on the betting favorite for the 2023 title, a team that just brought in two established veterans to shore up offensive pitfalls from the playoff run. It’s why, in spite of a tough finals defeat, Tatum’s confident the Celtics are ready to come back and pull it off this time. “I mean, what kind of teammate would I be if I said no?” he said. “We got this close, and we added two really good players. I think it makes us better.”
Tatum expects he’s going to be ready to put his team back in position to win a ring. Whether that’s starting off the season connected offensively or pacing himself to keep his legs fresh from October to June, he’s taken in another lesson on greatness. But he recognizes that doesn’t guarantee anything. “It’s not a ‘for sure’ thing, you know. You have to put in the work. You have to take the right steps,” Tatum said. “But I’m positive that we got the right group that will buy in, and we can’t look past anything and just try to coast our way to the finals. We gotta start from training camp. We gotta start from Day 1.”
Curry is running out of room to run in this offseason with training camp drawing near. He’s taken pauses to see how the Warriors are re-tooling to defend their 2022 title. “I’m excited,” Curry said. “It’s gonna look a little different, but you can blend the championship experience with where we were at the beginning of last year. Put that all together and try to keep this thing going. Defending is tough, but we’re excited about the opportunity.”
At Friday’s practices, Curry warmed up, ran drills with his campers and even refereed scrimmages between the boys and girls sides. Isn’t he even little tired? “Not at all,” Curry said. “Running on championship adrenaline.” Of course, Curry brought along a little help to the intimate event. Former teammate and current free agent Kent Bazemore and his personal trainer Brandon Payne are coaching alongside him along with a team of people from Curry’s camp. “I Love to give that back knowing I have the opportunity to do so,” Curry said. “And I love to be out there engaged with the kids. I really have fun doing it.”