The departure of Kyrie Irving in the 2019 NBA free agency period has undeniably broken the hearts of lots of Boston Celtics’ fans, especially those people who believed that “Uncle Drew” would be the player that would help them end their title drought. However, the Celtics could somehow receive some benefits from Irving’s decision to leave Boston for the Brooklyn Nets. Now that Irving is gone, two of the Celtics’ young players — Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown — will have more opportunities to shine and unleash their full potential.
Among the people who are betting on Tatum and Brown to have a breakout season is former Celtics center Aron Baynes. In a recent interview with Niall Seewang of ESPN, Baynes — whom the Celtics traded to the Phoenix Suns for a 2020 first-round pick this summer — said that both Tatum and Brown are ready to reach NBA superstar status in the 2019-20 NBA season.
“Those younger guys [Tatum and Brown] are thirsty to go out and improve their game and there’s no better place than the summertime playing international ball against some of the best players in the world,” Baynes said. “Those guys are still in their rookie contracts and they’re looking to prove themselves over the next couple of years and they definitely have all the tools to do it. They’re competitors, I’ve played against them all the time in practice and I know what they’re capable of… and it’s fun to play alongside them.”
Coach K’s high praise for Celtics rising star Jayson Tatum https://t.co/XgdJk0er87
— The Celtics Wire (@TheCelticsWire) August 19, 2019
It’s easy to understand why Aron Baynes has high expectations for Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. Both of them have shown huge potential from the time they set foot in the NBA. When the Celtics lost Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward to injuries in the 2017-18 NBA season, Tatum and Brown were among the players who stepped up and helped the Celtics reach the Eastern Conference Finals where they forced a Game 7 against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.
As of now, Tatum and Brown are focused on helping Team USA win the gold in the upcoming FIBA World Cup in China. Team USA is currently in Australia to have two exhibition games against Aron Baynes’ Aussie Boomers. Team USA may have the advantage in terms of talents, but Baynes is very confident that they could give them a tough fight. As someone familiar with the players who are members of Team USA, Baynes revealed that he has shared some information that could help the Aussie Boomers beat the defending champions in their upcoming games.