NBA rumors: Jayson Tatum not considering sitting out

Jayson Tatum is not considering sitting out the restart of the season due to contract concerns, according to two league sources familiar with the Celtics All-Star’s plans. A report in the New York Daily News indicated that Tatum, who has been in town working out at the Celtics practice facility, was “reluctant to return” for concerns he would get hurt and that would impact his chances of signing a multi-year, max-salaried extension this offseason.

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“Not true,” a source told NBC Sports Boston. “He’s concerned like every other player about returning to play. There’s a lot … going on in the world that players need to be more concerned about. But sitting out because of the contract? Hell no!”
“And when it comes to injuries, restart or not, players always run the risk of having one whenever they step on the court,” a league executive told NBC Sports Boston. “Players have more concerns with the reboot to the season; I get that. But I just don’t see guys sitting out games because they might get hurt. They run that risk every time they play the game.”
HoopsHype asked some experts to weigh in on Tatum’s future and the likelihood of him getting the max. “I think he is getting a max extension,” an Eastern Conference general manager told HoopsHype. “That may be one where you have some incentives in the deal; I mean, it’s not like he’s LeBron James or Giannis Antetokounmpo. But he’s pretty close to being a Top 20 player, if he isn’t already, and he’s still so young. Usually, you’re trying to keep goodwill with a player like that.
“Maybe it’ll be a max deal with certain likely bonuses – some fairly attainable incentives in there – but I think it’ll be a max deal. If that ends up being below the max, I’d be very, very surprised.” ESPN analyst Bobby Marks, who worked in NBA front offices for 20 years, agreed with the general manager. “I think they’ll give him a blank check,” Marks said with a laugh. “He’s one of those guys where you go with the blank-check approach. I think Tatum and Donovan Mitchell can basically dictate what salary they want. I think we saw with the extension that Boston gave Jaylen Brown, which wasn’t the full max, they gave themselves a little bit of cap flexibility because they knew that Jayson’s was coming up next. But, yeah, I think it’s a no-brainer. I doubt we’re going to see Boston come in with a low-ball number. (laughs)”
Windhorst, in an appearance on SportsCenter on Saturday, talked about Boston’s plans this offseason. “If Jayson Tatum is the superstar that they envisioned when they began this whole rebuilding process when they traded Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce for all of those draft picks hoping to land a player like this, we could see ‘Glory Days’ for the Celtics again," Windhorst said. "But it’s very much up in the air, and I’m gonna tell ya, they’re gonna have to pay him like it because after this season ends, he is going to get most likely a max contract. They’re going to bet that he becomes that player.”
Let’s start there. Boston and Tatum not reaching a contract extension this coming summer/fall doesn’t mean Tatum is necessarily leaving town. Far from it actually. In that somewhat unlikely scenario, the Celtics would retain the right to match any contract Tatum could sign as a restricted free agent. At this point, the max deal Tatum could sign with another team in the summer of 2021 would be for four years and a projected $134,375,000. That’s a first-year salary of $31.25 million (which is 25% of the projected salary cap of $125 million for the 2021-22 season) with 5% raises. Tatum and/or Boston could also delay signing a contract extension and he could still sign a full four or five-year max deal with the Celtics in 2021. That deal would be for either four years and $140 million or five years and $181.25 million. Same first-year salary applies in this situation of $31.25 million, but the raises jump to 8% off the first-year salary.
Let’s start there. Boston and Tatum not reaching a contract extension this coming summer/fall doesn’t mean Tatum is necessarily leaving town. Far from it actually. In that somewhat unlikely scenario, the Celtics would retain the right to match any contract Tatum could sign as a restricted free agent. At this point, the max deal Tatum could sign with another team in the summer of 2021 would be for four years and a projected $134,375,000. That’s a first-year salary of $31.25 million (which is 25% of the projected salary cap of $125 million for the 2021-22 season) with 5% raises. Tatum and/or Boston could also delay signing a contract extension and he could still sign a full four or five-year max deal with the Celtics in 2021. That deal would be for either four years and $140 million or five years and $181.25 million. Same first-year salary applies in this situation of $31.25 million, but the raises jump to 8% off the first-year salary.
Western Conference coach: “The teammates who are around a player do play a big part when it comes time for teams to make that kind of investment. They may be worried about being able to pay other core players down the road if they do this extension now. That’s what Boston is going through because they have to make a decision about Jaylen Brown now, with Jayson Tatum eligible for the same extension next summer. Or the front office may be thinking, ‘We shouldn’t give this much money to our third-best player.’ But the player’s value is relative. He may be the ‘third-best player’ on your team, but he’d be the top player on another team and they’re willing to pay him.”
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September 30, 2020 | 1:54 am EDT Update
Kevin Durant admitted it on Tuesday on his new podcast “The ETCs” on The Boardroom. At the 36:30 mark of the podcast, Irving is explaining how he and Durant both arrived in Brooklyn and how much of a surprise it was. And Durant interjects with this point. “The All-Star game video where they caught us in the hallway. That’s when it was solidified that we were going somewhere. They didn’t know for a fact where it was, but it was somewhere.”
The 20-year-old has been motivated all season long by those doubts and he said on Tuesday that being selected 13th overall by the Heat has even motivated him. Channeling his inner Draymond Green, Herro said he can even recite each player drafted ahead of him last year. I think being drafted 13 definitely motivates me, but I love where I was drafted. I mean, I love the opportunity I was drafted into, the situation. But the 12 guys ahead of me definitely are in the back of my head all the time, and I know every last one that was drafted ahead of me. And I mean, it definitely does fuel me.
But it’s a start for the face of the Knicks franchise who never saw his rookie season completed. Just as Barrett was coming on strong, the pandemic canceled the Knicks’ season on March 11 in Atlanta. It may have cost him any chance of all-rookie honors — as he was left off both teams. Sources say Barrett, the third pick in last year’s draft who turned 20 in June, was itching to get back onto the practice court more than any Knick after a six-month hiatus.
The closest that the Warriors’ trusty trio of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green will get to the finals is watching their former teammate Andre Iguodala, now with the Miami Heat, match up against a rival familiar to them all: LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers. “As a competitor, you always want to be there,” Green said, “but when people ask me if I miss basketball right now, I tell them in a heartbeat, ‘No, I don’t.’ We’ve done it at the highest level that you can possibly do it for five straight years. “What I do miss,” Green continued, “is competing at the absolute highest level. I will miss playing in the finals and knowing that every basketball player in the world is watching me play — performing on that stage.”
There is a plan, and a time and a place for everything, and Larry Tanenbaum and Raptors president Masai Ujiri are working at their own pace on all of it. The long-term future of Ujiri, whose contract runs out at the end of next season, is a growing concern among the team’s fans but Tanenbaum knows there is no need to rush. There are other priorities, as Ujiri spelled out last week. “Our fans, they love Masai for all that he’s contributed to the Raptors franchise and to our community and to our country — and our appreciation for him, that can’t be measured,” Tanenbaum, the chairman of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, said in an interview Tuesday. “But it was his and my game plan to secure his management team extension before his own.”
Storyline: Masai Ujiri Contract
Despite all the speculation about what one of the most connected insiders in the NBA media would do with his contact expiring right in the middle of the playoffs, it turns out that Shams Charania isn’t going anywhere. He is sticking with Stadium. The new deal also includes an expanded role on television thanks to Stadium’s deal with Sinclair, which acquired most of the FOX regional sports networks in 2019. “The Sinclair Broadcast Group regional sports networks and Stadium couldn’t be more thrilled to keep Shams Charania as a part of our family and broadcasting community. Throughout our work together, we’ve watched Shams quickly excel as one of the premier journalists in our industry,” Sinclair Broadcast Group President of Local Sports Steve Rosenberg said in a press release. “We have big plans for Shams across our sports portfolio and we’re excited to start that process immediately.”
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