Since being selected as the No. 3 overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, Boston Celtics small forward Jayson Tatum continues to perform on both ends of the floor. This season, in which he earned his first NBA All-Star recognition, the 22-year-old Duke product is averaging 23.6 points, 7.1 rebounds, 2.9 assists, and 1.4 steals while shooting 44.8 percent from the field and 39.8 percent from beyond the arc. The Celtics are yet to officially confirm it, but since they lost Kyrie Irving in free agency, most people already viewed Tatum as the new face of Boston’s franchise.
When the 2019-20 NBA season is over, Tatum will be eligible to sign a contract extension with the Celtics. Brian Windhorst of ESPN said, via Youtube, that Boston is “most likely” to offer Tatum a maximum contract extension in the 2020 NBA 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. 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,” Windhorst said, as transcribed by Adams Wells of Bleacher Report.
Giving Tatum a massive contract extension this summer is a no-brainer for the Celtics. Tatum may only be 22, but he’s already an All-Star and capable of matching up against the best players in the league. The Celtics are yet to say anything about naming Tatum the new face of the franchise, but their previous actions proved that he’s the player that they value the most on their roster. In the previous offseasons, the Celtics had the opportunity to acquire some big names on the trade market like Kawhi Leonard and Anthony Davis, but they refused to include Tatum in the trade package.
If the Celtics put the offer on the table in the 2020 NBA offseason, Tatum may not think twice before signing the massive contract extension. However, before thinking about the things that would happen this summer, Tatum and the Celtics must first focus on the nearing resumption of the 2019-20 NBA season. Despite losing some of their key players last summer, the Celtics have managed to remain competitive and are currently considered as a legitimate threat in the Eastern Conference. Before the NBA suspension due to the spread of coronavirus, the Celtics were sitting in the No. 3 spot in the Eastern Conference with a 43-21 record.