Celtics’ Jayson Tatum, Malcolm Brogdon, Derrick White get important injury updates after playoff exit

The Boston Celtics had a very disappointing end to their season with a dud in Game 7 against the Miami Heat. To make matters worse, key guys like Jayson Tatum, Derrick White and Malcolm Brogdon all enter the offseason with injuries they are going to have to tend to, reports The Athletic’s Jared Weiss.

According to Brad Stevens, Jayson Tatum will be dealing with a nagging ankle sprain, although he feels better already. Malcolm Brogdon might need surgery on his arm and will be determined amongst his camp this summer. Lastly, Derrick White has a small strain in his knee. None of the injuries are excuses for their playoff exit, but it sure is a testament to how much professional athletes put their bodies on the line.

In the end, Celtics fans couldn’t care less if players were injured or not; Boston was a true contender and the only expectation this season was an NBA Finals ring. After the Milwaukee Bucks were outed early in the postseason, the opportunity was golden for the Celtics to return to the NBA Finals in back-to-back seasons. Albeit the opportunity, the Heat were simply a more determined team when the series defining moments arrived.

The Celtics in general will be facing a lot of questions this offseason. Number one will be what the future looks like for Jaylen Brown, as rumblings have long been heard that he is ready to branch out and relinquish his spot in Jayson Tatum’s shadow. As key Celtics players tend to injuries this offseason, there will certainly be more news out of Boston regarding the future of the Celtics roster.

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The demand Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown made to Joe Mazzulla late in regular season

Boston Celtics star wings Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown may not be the team’s vocal leaders — that title belongs to Marcus Smart and Al Horford — but they are the Celtics’ two best players, and thus, their words carry weight in the locker room.

Tatum and Brown used their influence to demand a rotation shake-up from head coach Joe Mazzulla late in the regular season — specifically, they wanted forward Grant Williams back in the rotation, per a recent article from The Athletic’s Jay King and Jared Weiss:

“The coaching staff believed in Hauser’s offensive production and felt that because opponents were going out of their way to target him and abandon their own offense, his ability to hold up decently in isolation made him impactful. Mazzulla also wanted to get Hauser more experience to prepare him for the playoffs, believing Williams would be ready to go if his number was called. But the team’s veterans believed Williams would be crucial in the playoffs, so Tatum and Brown met with Mazzulla in early March to implore him to put Williams back into the rotation, team sources told The Athletic.”

Grant Williams, 24, has played four years in the NBA, all as a member of the storied Boston Celtics franchise. He averaged 8.1 points, 4.6 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 0.5 steals, 0.4 blocks, 1.0 turnovers, and 2.4 personal fouls per game across 79 appearances this season (23 starts).

The former Tennessee star shot the ball with great accuracy from behind the three-point arc in the 2022-23 campaign — Williams’ 39.5% three-point percentage was the second-highest of his pro career.

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Heat breakout star Caleb Martin’s mind-boggling feat leaves Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown in dust

Miami Heat forward Caleb Martin earned himself free drinks for life in South Beach while plunging a dagger into an entire city’s heart with his magnificent play against the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals. In the midst of all the postseason heroics, it was easy to overlook just how impressive his numbers really were, especially when compared to the C’s star duo.

Martin’s 22 made 3-pointers in the seven-game series were four more than Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown had combined, per ClutchPoints. Brown shot 20 percent or worse from distance in all but one game while Tatum was not much better.

Conversely, Martin was hot throughout and never dipped below 40 percent. He was 4-of-6 with a playoff career-high 26 points in Game 7, repeatedly thwarting Boston runs with devastating jumpers coming off the catch and dribble. This inconceivable statistic will just further amplify the Celtics’ colossal perimeter shortcomings, especially in the last two games. But it should also be used to accentuate the so-called role player’s true conference finals excellence, as he had a strong claim to the series’ MVP award that was bestowed on Jimmy Butler.

The Heat will need Caleb Martin to stay on the best run of his career when they face the Denver Nuggets in the NBA Finals beginning Thursday. He shot 46 percent from the floor and over 35 percent from 3-point range during the regular season, so there were signs a breakout could be looming. The 27-year-old chose the best possible time to blossom into a vital contributor.

That has been Miami’s narrative in the 2023 NBA Playoffs as a whole. Players show up in the most dire of times. It has not been just Butler. Martin just single-handedly outshot possibly the best one-two punch in the league.

Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown will now have to sit with that information all offseason long.

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5 superstars Celtics must target to pair with Jayson Tatum, ranked

The 2022-23 iteration of the Boston Celtics, from top to bottom, is one of the most talented teams in the league on paper. At first glance, it seems like the team has everything it needs to contend: a bonafide top-10 player on the wing in Jayson Tatum, an elite secondary option in Jaylen Brown, versatile and smart 3 and D players such as Derrick White, Al Horford, and Marcus Smart, an elite rim protector in Robert Williams III, and a microwave scoring option off the bench in Malcolm Brogdon.

However, through the four seasons in which Tatum and Brown have been the Celtics’ best players, they simply couldn’t quite get over the hump. They came oh-so-close in 2022, only falling short in the end due to Stephen Curry’s greatness, but here they are in 2023, having blown the opportunity to avenge their NBA Finals loss last year — with Brown playing a huge part in squandering that chance.

Jaylen Brown, in light of Jayson Tatum’s untimely ankle injury, failed to take the Celtics across the Eastern Conference Finals finish line; on top of going 8-23 from the field, he turned the ball over eight times. Brown’s shoddy ballhandling was exposed at exactly the most inopportune moment for the Celtics — and now, with Brown’s contract set to expire in 2024, questions abound regarding the 26-year old forward’s future with the team.

In fact, some think it’s time for the Celtics to veer towards another direction and pair Tatum with another star who could do a better job of picking up the slack when he’s not at his best. But some players are much better fits alongside Tatum than others.

With that said, these are the five superstars the Celtics must target to pair with Jayson Tatum, ranked in terms of potential impact.

5. Bradley Beal

There was once a time where Bradley Beal looked like he was in a rapid ascent towards the NBA stratosphere following John Wall’s injury. Beal emerged as a legitimate 30-point per night scorer, and his entire offensive arsenal was in full display every game. He no longer was the catch-and-shoot, roving marksman on the perimeter that he began his career as.

However, Beal has had to endure a plethora of injury woes since 2019. He missed 74 games over the past two seasons alone, and despite the uptick in shooting efficiency this past season, the downward trend in the volume of his production isn’t necessarily a promising development.

Sure, Bradley Beal is good pals with fellow St. Louis native Jayson Tatum. Perhaps reuniting with his childhood friend would do wonders for Beal’s career. However, will the efficiency and ballhandling upgrade from acquiring Beal be worth the cost of relinquishing Brown’s rim pressure, athleticism, defense, and rebounding?

4. Trae Young

If ranked according to plausibility, Trae Young would rank first. After all, the Atlanta Hawks are heavily rumored to be in pursuit of Jaylen Brown, and given the season Brown just had, Game 7 stinker against the Miami Heat notwithstanding, the Celtics will only be listening to trade overtures if they start with Young’s involvement.

Acquiring Young would do wonders for Jayson Tatum. Tatum would need not burden himself with too much playmaking responsibility with Young alongside him. Moreover, Young’s offensive craftiness and infinite range would add a new wrinkle to the Celtics’ offense, especially when it comes up against the most stifling defenses in the NBA.

However, the Celtics know Trae Young’s lack of defensive impact all too well. In fact, during the Celtics and Hawks’ first-round matchup, they targeted Young relentlessly on that end of the floor. Sure, Young will have the likes of Marcus Smart, Derrick White, and Al Horford covering for him, but there’s only a lot those can do to help him out defensively given how lackluster his feel and tools are.

At the end of the day, keeping Jaylen Brown certainly looks like the more appealing option given the Celtics’ roster construction and basketball philosophy, even if Young is the better offensive player.

3. Ja Morant

Have the Memphis Grizzlies had enough of Ja Morant? Perhaps. Morant was on a steep upwards trajectory in his career. Watching Morant on the court is a treat; fans never know what to expect given the limitless possibilities of what the Grizzlies point guard can pull off on a nightly basis thanks to his jaw-dropping athleticism.

However, a few misguided Instagram lives here and there, and now, Morant is at a crossroads in his career — and he’s only 23 years old.

Given the talent he possesses — the incredible playmaking and immense ability to get to the rim, not to mention the exuberant locker room presence that has endeared him to his Grizzlies teammates — Ja Morant will have plenty of opportunities to get his act together. The Grizzlies organization will certainly be hoping that he figures things out while donning Memphis colors.

But on the off chance that everything goes up in smoke in Memphis, can the Celtics try and facilitate a revival for the superstar floor general?

This reeks of “I can save him” behavior, which is a no-no in all strokes of life. But Morant’s talent level makes him worth waiting for, risks be damned.

2. Kawhi Leonard

There might not be more high-risk, high-reward player in the association than Kawhi Leonard. When healthy, Leonard is still a top-five player in the NBA. But when has he been healthy when it mattered for the Los Angeles Clippers?

There’s no way the Clippers are giving up on their franchise star a year before they move to their new stomping grounds at Intuit Dome. There are even no guarantees that the Celtics would want to acquire the Leonard given the risk involved.

Even then, if the Celtics want to shoot for the moon with one last hurrah, they’d be hard-pressed to find a better player to target who wouldn’t necessarily require the Celtics to change anything they do on either end of the floor.

The only reason he’s not number one on this list is that availability is one of the best abilities for an NBA superstar — and Kawhi Leonard doesn’t quite have that at this point in his career.

1. Damian Lillard

Damian Lillard is already 32 years old. There’s certainly injury risk when it comes to Lillard; it was only last year when he suffered a season-ending abdominal injury. And yet, here he stands as number one on the list of superstars the Celtics must target to pair with Jayson Tatum.

Lillard is almost everything a team wants in a point guard in today’s NBA. He can stretch defenses past its breaking point, his three-level mastery makes him quite the pick-and-roll maestro, and his teammates look up to him due to his sheer gravitas. Even though he’s getting up there in age, he still posted the best season of his career this past year, averaging 32.2 points and 7.3 assists on a career-high 64.5 True Shooting percentage.

Against the Heat, Damian Lillard’s gravity would have done wonders in jolting the Celtics out of their offensive rut, especially in Game 7. Lillard certainly would have made the Heat pay for using their zone defense. And he certainly would not have turned the ball over multiple times due to a loose handle, unlike Jaylen Brown.

The only concern the Celtics might have regarding Lillard is his defense; in the wrong matchup, Lillard’s 6’2 frame may be exposed. He’ll be targeted in every pick-and-roll. But it’s not like he’s an absolute negative on that end of the floor.

Of course, the Portland Trail Blazers front office looks like it’s willing to do whatever it takes to build a contending team around Lillard. Thus, trading for Lillard may be nothing but a pipe dream for the Celtics. But if ever the opportunity arises, the Celtics will have a difficult time finding someone that would up their championship equity much more considerably than Lillard.

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4 Celtics most to blame for embarrassing Game 7 home loss to Heat in Eastern Conference Finals

The Boston Celtics had a chance to make history. They had a chance to become the first team to come back from a 3-0 deficit in the NBA Playoffs. But they fell short, losing to the Miami Heat in Game 7, 103-84. There were several reasons for the Celtics’ loss. But four people, in particular, stand out as being most to blame.

In a tumultuous turn of events, the Celtics initially showed great promise as they took an early five-point lead. However, their momentum was swiftly thwarted by an overwhelming 14-4 run by their opponents, marking the end of the first quarter. To exacerbate matters, they struggled to regain their footing in the second quarter. They even allowed the Heat to secure 16 of the first 22 points. As the third quarter drew to a close, Miami boasted a commanding 76-66 lead. The Celtics’ hopes of mounting a comeback were further dashed when star player Jayson Tatum missed a crucial layup to open the fourth quarter, followed by consecutive turnovers from Jaylen Brown. To add salt to the wound, Miami’s Caleb Martin capitalized on the opportunity. He sank a huge three-pointer, while Jimmy Butler delivered a pair of baskets. Those extended Miami’s lead to 83-66.

From that point onwards, the Celtics were unable to narrow the gap. This left the TD Garden crowd stunned and frustrated. Not surprisingly, some boos could be heard as the fans trickled out of the arena, their spirits deflated.

Here we will look at the four Celtics most to blame for their embarrassing Game 7 home loss.

Jayson Tatum

Known for his incredible scoring ability, Tatum had an unexpected off night in Game 7. Despite being the Celtics’ standout performer throughout the playoffs, Tatum struggled to find his rhythm against a relentless Miami defense. His shooting woes were evident as he could only muster 14 points, a far cry from his usual scoring output. Tatum’s shooting accuracy was abysmal, making only 5 of his 13 attempts from the field, leaving the Celtics desperate for points. To compound his struggles, Tatum recorded a plus-minus of -12 for the night. As the Celtics’ leading scorer and go-to player, Tatum’s inability to get going played a significant role in the team’s downfall and his off night will be remembered as a missed opportunity for the Celtics.

Jaylen Brown

Brown is an important contributor to the Celtics. However, he also faltered in the critical Game 7. Throughout the series, Brown’s offense had been oscillating from good to terrible. Still, he was a key offensive weapon for his team. However, in this decisive game, his shooting efficiency plummeted. He struggled to convert on just 8 of his 23 attempts from the field. Brown’s inability to find his groove severely impacted the Celtics’ offensive flow and left them searching for alternative sources of scoring. Additionally, Brown’s ball security was a major concern as he committed eight turnovers. These gave the opposing team too many extra possessions and squandered opportunities for the Celtics to mount a comeback. Given his inconsistent performance throughout the series, Brown’s struggles left a significant void that the Celtics desperately needed to fill. Ultimately, this contributed to their defeat.

Marcus Smart

Smart, known for his tenacious defense and ability to make hustle plays, played a crucial role in the Celtics’ stirring victory in Game 6. His relentless energy and defensive intensity disrupted the Heat’s offensive flow and contributed to the Celtics’ defensive success. However, in Game 7, Smart encountered difficulties finding his rhythm on the offensive end. Recall that he had averaged 18.3 points over their last three wins. Despite that kind of momentum, he struggled to convert his shot attempts in Game 7. He shot just 4-of-10 from the field, including 1-of-6 from beyond the arc. Additionally, Smart could not contain either Caleb Martin or Jimmy Butler. Both combined for 56 points. The team needed Smart to be more efficient and play stingier defense. That just did not happen in Game 7.

Joe Mazzulla

In the aftermath of the Celtics’ defeat in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals, Mazzulla’s words pierced the air, capturing the essence of disappointment in just 10 profound syllables.

“I just didn’t have them ready to play.”

Mazzulla’s coaching style had been a study in contrasts throughout the season. Embracing speed and precision, Mazzulla favored smaller lineups and unleashed a barrage of three-pointers. This catapulted the Celtics to the second spot in the league in that category. Defensive prowess was also recognized, with White earning a place on the NBA All-Defensive Team. Brogdon also received the Sixth Man of the Year accolade.

The regular season painted a rosy picture for Boston, boasting the best net rating while securing second place in offensive and defensive rating. However, the playoffs revealed their vulnerability. Defensive struggles plagued them, as they plummeted to 10th in efficiency among playoff teams. Their home record suffered too, with 11 losses in two years.

Late-game execution haunted them, though Game 7 offered no opportunity for redemption, as the Heat swiftly extinguished any hope. Boston’s aspirations shattered, leaving them to confront the bitter taste of an untimely demise.

In this crucial series against their opponents, the Celtics heavily relied on the contributions of four key individuals. However, despite their consistent performance throughout the series, they all encountered significant struggles when it mattered most in Game 7. These unexpected difficulties on the part of these players ultimately played a pivotal role in the Celtics’ unfortunate loss.

It is important to emphasize that the Celtics’ defeat was a collective team effort. It would be unfair to assign blame solely to one player. Nevertheless, the aforementioned players had ample opportunities to make a significant impact during Game 7 but were unable to seize them.

Moving forward, the Celtics must critically analyze this defeat and extract valuable lessons from it. With their immensely talented roster, they possess the potential to become strong championship contenders for many years to come. However, to fully unlock their potential, they must decipher the key to triumphing in high-stakes games.

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Al Horford addresses Celtics’ locker room controversy after Heat loss

The Boston Celtics offseason kicked off with much controversy after the loss to the Miami Heat. Right off the jump, Celtics faithful had questions about Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown’s futures with the team. They also called for Joe Mazzulla to depart after his rookie head coaching campaign. However, veteran leader Al Horford dispelled their locker room rumors.

“We had a lot going on this year and our guys should hold our heads high because we had a lot of adversity. In that locker room, we dealt with a lot of things,” the Celtics big man said as he looked back on their season, per Josue Pavón of CLNS media.

Horford has been a steadying presence throughout Boston’s highs and lows this postseason. The Celtics had their backs against the wall multiple times in the playoffs. They faced elimination twice against the Philadelphia 76ers and delayed their playoff death thrice against the Jimmy Butler-led Heat before finally succumbing in Game 7.

“We went through ups and downs but we stuck with it. So, right now, we want solutions sometimes you gonna have to step back and look at it and that’s just not going to happen right now,” Al Horford said hinting at a complete evaluation of the Celtics’ performance for the offseason.

A lot of questions are set to be answered in the coming months as the Celtics fix these problems. One thing is certain and that is the Celtics’ hope for Banner 18 remains unwavering despite the early playoffs exit.

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Stephen A Smith drops truth bomb on Celtics star Jayson Tatum’s injury in devastating Game 7 loss vs. Heat

After watching the Boston Celtics get completely blown out by the Miami Heat in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Monday night, Stephen A Smith had no choice but to backtrack on his earlier prediction on the game. Smith previously stated how he believes Jayson Tatum will dominate this do-or-die contest only to be proven completely wrong in Monday’s lopsided contest.

Stephen A has now provided some context on Tatum’s performance and how his ankle injury early in the game pretty much doomed the Celtics in Game 7. Smith believes that it would have been the Celtics who are now headed to the NBA Finals against Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets had it not been for Tatum’s injury:

“Sad for Jayson Tatum,” Smith said. “I think that Jayson Tatum, a superstar in this game, may have experienced an entirely different outcome if Jayson Tatum hadn’t rolled over and twisted his ankle (in) the first offensive play of the game. Now for those that sit up there saying you don’t want to hear that, all I’m gonna remind you is this: This is the Jayson Tatum that dropped 51 in a Game 7 in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. This is the same Jayson Tatum that has career averages in Game 7s of 28.8 points on 50 percent shooting and 48 percent shooting from three-point range. That Jayson Tatum.”

Tatum’s injury in the first quarter was an undeniably tough blow for the Celtics — one that they ended up not being able to recover from. Jayson Tatum stayed in the game and played through the injury, but it was clear that he was significantly bothered by the same.

According to Stephen A, this game would have had an entirely different outcome if Tatum was healthy. Given the Celtics superstar’s history in Game 7s, it’s hard not to see the point in Smith’s statement here.

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Jaylen Brown’s Celtics future at crossroads with upcoming contract negotiations

A season that was supposed to be filled with redemption and fulfillment for the Boston Celtics has ended in sheer disappointment. After losing in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals to the Miami Heat, the Celtics now begin what will be a very important offseason for the franchise, especially given that they will need to make a decision on their All-Star duo of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown.

Tatum is under contract for two more seasons before having a player option to decide on, but many are beginning to wonder if Brown has played his final game in a Celtics uniform. Entering this offseason, Brown has one more year left on his contract and is eligible for a supermax deal after being named to the All-NBA Second Team this season.

Brown had the best season of his now seven-year career, as the 26-year-old wing averaged 26.6 points, 6.9 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game while shooting 49.1 percent from the floor. Given the impact he brings on the defensive side of the floor as well, there is no denying that he is one of the better two-way players in the entire league.

This is a “what have you done for me lately” type of league, though, and what Brown did in the playoffs was very underwhelming given the Celtics’ expectations. Brown’s struggles against the Heat were very clear, especially in Game 7 when he committed a whopping eight turnovers and shot 8-of-23 from the field. But if Boston wants to keep him around long-term, they will have to pay a hefty price.

Jaylen Brown’s contract situation

Jaylen Brown, Celtics, Jaylen Brown contract

As a result of making the All-NBA team this year, Brown is supermax eligible, meaning he can receive a contract extension worth upwards of $295 million over the course of five years. If the Celtics were to give him this max deal, the two-time All-Star would make about $50 million during the 2024-25 season and then almost $66 million during the 2028-29 season with his contract numbers increasing by nearly $4 million each season in-between.

That is a massive amount of money for the Celtics to commit to one player, not to mention he is their second-best option alongside Tatum. The new CBA (Collective Bargaining Agreement) coming into play will also have heavy ramifications for teams who exceed the tax line like the Celtics would. Some of these restrictions include not being able to trade cash considerations and future draft picks, the loss of a team’s mid-level exception in free agency, not being able to sign players via the buyout market and more.

If Boston views their All-Star duo of Tatum and Brown as their core moving forward and their best chance to win another title, then giving Brown this type of deal makes complete sense. However, this is the second consecutive season ending in playoff heartbreak for the Celtics, and the way it happened this season is why these conversations are being had.

Jaylen Brown on his contract after Game 7

Jaylen Brown, Celtics, Jaylen Brown contract

With Tatum suffering an ankle injury early on in Game 7, the Celtics needed Brown to step up and take over. That unfortunately didn’t happen, and Brown’s performance is not what you envision of a player making $50 million or more per year. This is why Brown’s future with the Celtics is very much up in the air this offseason.

“You asked what’s my thought process? I really don’t, you know, I don’t even really know how to answer that question right now, to be honest,” Brown said immediately after Boston’s Game 7 loss. “My thought process is take it one day at a time, focus on getting better. Focus on what the future holds and see where we are from there. I guess I don’t know really know how to answer that.”

There is a lot that goes into contract negotiations between the Celtics and Brown entering the offseason. Obviously a player of his talents does not come around every day, which is why Boston needs to and is strongly considering working through negotiations with their All-Star. On the other side of things, they can not necessarily afford to keep Brown and Tatum together for the long haul, as they would both account for over $100 million on the team’s payroll moving forward if they both received new supermax contracts.

Jaylen Brown trade options

Jaylen Brown trade, Celtics, Celtics trade, Bradley Beal, Damian Lillard

Should the Celtics want to move on from Brown, they will have to try and find equal value or his talent, something that will not be readily available this offseason. Teams around the league are going to be scrambling to fix their rosters given the new CBA’s financial rules. Since he is not viewed as a top-10 talent in the league, many teams will have a hard time coping with giving him $295 million over five years.

As The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor notes, Damian Lillard would be the picture-perfect trade target for the Celtics in a deal involving Brown. However, the Portland Trail Blazers have remained adamant on keeping Lillard and building around him, which almost shuts the door on that scenario. Trading for Anfernee Simons and the third overall pick from Portland presents opportunity for more depth, but could Tatum as the only All-Star talent on the team lead Boston to a title?

Bradley Beal from the Washington Wizards is another player the Celtics could possibly look to target in a trade involving Brown, but Beal has a true no-trade clause and it does appear that Washington under new president Michael Winger’s leadership wants to keep their All-Star around. There are just no equivalent talents available right now that the Celtics could feasibly target and possibly trade for right now, which is why they are almost stuck with keeping what they have.

Jayson Tatum supports Jaylen Brown

Celtics, Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum

Last season, the Celtics won 51 games and came up two wins short of a title. This season, the Celtics won 57 games and came up one win shy of the NBA Finals.

There is certainly a lot to like about this group, and winning 108 games with a Finals appearance over the last two seasons is more of an accomplishment than almost every other team in the league. However, winning a championship is the ultimate goal for Boston. The Celtics will have an awfully hard time doing so if they were to commit to max deals with both Brown and Tatum moving forward.

“It’s extremely important,” Tatum said when asked about locking up Brown. “He’s one of the best players in this league. He plays both ends of the ball and still is relatively young. And he’s accomplished a lot so far in his career. So, I think it’s extremely important.”

Entering the offseason, the Celtics have a massive decision to make with Brown’s contract situation. If they extend him on a supermax deal, they are digging themselves into a financial hole But if they do not give him a new deal and let the All-Star play out the final year of his contract, there is a very good chance he will leave in free agency the following summer. Not to mention, Tatum has already come out and supported his teammate on getting a new deal, so losing Brown could ultimately wind up in Tatum growing frustrated with the organization.

Jaylen Brown is a key talent in this league, but something needs to change for the Celtics. Moving on from Brown and possibly parting ways this offseason could very well allow Boston to get the championship pieces and depth they are lacking right now.

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Jaylen Brown offers hopeful message about Celtics future after brutal Game 7 outing

Boston Celtics star Jaylen Brown couldn’t have played worse in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Miami Heat. He put up just 19 points on 8-of-23 shooting and turned the ball over a whopping eight times.

After such a disastrous outing, Brown’s future in Beantown might be in question. The 26-year-old made his first All-NBA Team this season and is eligible for a $295 million contract extension this summer. However, with the Celtics likely giving Jayson Tatum a significant extension as well in the near future, money could be pretty tight for the front office.

Regardless of the financials, it doesn’t seem like Brown is completely out on Boston. Trade rumors have been swirling around him for years, yet after the Game 7 loss he suggested that his time in Beantown might not be over, via HoopsHype:

“This is not the end,” Brown told the media. “We got a lot better to give, a lot better basketball to play and you just gotta look at it like that. But tough night.”

The two-time All-Star arguably cost the Celtics the game on Monday night, as his shot selection and general decision-making were abysmal. His poor Game 7 performance is especially frustrating given that he had a great regular season in which he averaged more than 26 points per game on 49% shooting from the field. Whether or not Boston plans to stick with Brown could be decided this offseason.

And while the front office might be on the fence, Tatum wants Brown by his side in the years to come.

“It’s extremely important,” Tatum said. “[Brown is] one of the best players in the league.”

With the Celtics’ playoff run over, an offseason full of contract questions and debates on whether or not Boston’s star duo should be broken up will begin. All of this chatter could’ve been avoided with a championship, but at least Tatum and Brown have each other’s backs following a disappointing finish.

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Jayson Tatum reveals 1 simple reason for Celtics’ East Finals disaster vs. Heat

Jayson Tatum and the Boston Celtics are still shell-shocked over their 19-point defeat at the hands of the Miami Heat in Game 7.

It was a whirlwind series that began with the Heat taking a commanding 3-0 lead, but the Celtics battled back valiantly, featuring pivotal moments such as Derrick White’s buzzer-beating game-winner in Game 6. But just when a reverse sweep was on the horizon, Jimmy Butler and Caleb Martin stepped up to the plate to finally silence the Celtics and send them home.

In the postgame press conference, a limping Jayson Tatum walked up to the podium to answer questions from the media. One of the reporters asked where specifically things went wrong this year that made the Celtics miss such a prime opportunity.

“That’s a great question,” Tatum said, per ASAP Sports. “We didn’t play well enough to win this series for a majority of it. Bad third quarter of the first game. Bad fourth quarter of the second game. They beat us the third game. We didn’t play well at all. Won three in a row. Then tonight was just tough. So, we just didn’t play well enough to win this series.”

Tatum more or less went through the entire story of series, its ups and downs, and how the chemistry and overall aura was in a constant state of flux. From the poor third quarter of Game 1 that made coach Joe Mazzula toss his clipboard in frustration, to a Jimmy Butler takeover that began after Grant Williams taunted him, followed by a total beatdown in Game 3 that made Butler taunt the entire team. Then the Celtics battled back and won three straight games, as Tatum narrated, but the C’s were ultimately unable to finish the job in Game 7.

Like the Celtics, Tatum definitely has a lot to think about as he enters the offseason. This ends his sixth playoff appearance in his career. What will they have to do in order to win an NBA championship?

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