Storyline: Jayson Tatum Extension?

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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.

Jayson Tatum likely to get max extension

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)”

Max extension coming for Jayson Tatum?

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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As NBA teams get situated in the Orlando bubble, one question that has persisted since the start of the coronavirus pandemic is not only what happens if a player tests positive for the virus but also what lingering effects might follow. “There are unknown effects it has on lung capacity, unknown effects it has on cardiac health,” said one NBA general manager of a team entering the bubble, speaking on the condition of anonymity. “What if a 24-year-old catches it in Orlando and, in 14 days, he quarantines and is fine, but then he has these everlasting heart problems? [Or he] gets winded so easily, or he becomes a little bit too susceptible to fatigue. …These are all the unknowns.”
Each case will be handled based on its own needs, but John DiFiori, the NBA’s Director of Sports Medicine, told ESPN that the timeline for any player to return from a confirmed positive case is at least two weeks. “Everyone needs to understand that if someone were to test positive, it’s quite likely that they won’t return to the court for a minimum of two weeks — minimum,” said DiFiori, who is also the Chief of Primary Sports Medicine and attending physician at New York City’s Hospital for Special Surgery. “It may be even a little longer than that, depending on the individual circumstances, and then you need some time to get reconditioned.”
Storyline: Coronavirus
Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old Black woman, was shot and killed by Louisville police executing a search warrant on March 13. Nearly four months later, the three police officers involved in Taylor’s death haven’t been arrested. Athletes across the country have been calling for justice for Taylor, including Warriors superstar Steph Curry. On Friday, while playing in the American Century Championship golf tournament in Lake Tahoe, Curry wore special shoes that honored the memory of Taylor.
Curry was asked about his tribute to Taylor during NBCSN’s broadcast. “Obviously not to forget to Breonna Taylor in terms of finding justice for her,” Curry said. “As life goes on, we’re all using our platform to shed light on the injustices going on and I wanted to use this opportunity to celebrate her life and try to continue the impact everyone is trying to have in terms of continuing this meaningful conversation of how we make change for ourselves, the next generation and our kids.”

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Woodson, 62, the former Knicks head coach, is among several candidates who’ve met with team brass via video conference. Woodson, like frontrunner Tom Thibodeau, has a connection to team president Leon Rose and top Knicks executive William Wesley because they represented him at CAA as agents. It’s possible that Woodson, who owns the highest winning percentage of a Knicks coach since Jeff Van Gundy, is hired as an assistant if he’s bypassed for the top job.
Storyline: Knicks Coaching Job