Jayson Tatum has not seen his name in any legitimate trade rumors this summer. He is now the cornerstone of Boston’s championship hopes and, as such, is off the table.
However, just about every other Celtic has seen their name pop up — there are Jaylen Brown rumours, Marcus Smart rumours, plus Derrick White, Robert Williams III and others have been mentioned — as Boston’s front office debates whether to stick with its core or go all in for next season with a Kevin Durant trade.
How do players deal with that? Tatum told Justin Quinn of Celtics Wire that as a pro, a player just has to learn to “control what they can control” and tune out the noise.
That’s the world we live in, right? It always comes from an anonymous source. But it always makes ESPN or Twitter or whatever, and everybody sees it. So you never know what is true and what’s not true, but it gets people to talk about it, and I guess that’s the idea. They got what they wanted out of the deal, for people to talk about it and make speculations. If you pay attention to everything you see on Twitter or TV, you drive yourself crazy. I think that’s just something that you have to learn just to keep your own sanity and your own peace. They will literally say anything, and some of it might be true, and there are other things that just couldn’t be further from the truth. But, the average fan at home doesn’t know the difference, and they just might believe whatever they see. And it doesn’t help that people on the sports talk shows are talking about it every day and we don’t know who said it, so just control what you can control. That’s what I always live by.
Veterans tend to be better at the “control what you can control” idea — the first time through the turbulent trade rumor vortex tends to throw young players off. For players this isn’t a simple fantasy basketball trade where they pull a different color jersey over their head, lives are uprooted — finding a new place to live for yourself and your family, new schools for kids, the challenges of figuring out a new city, everything that makes moving a pain in the backside for all of us is dropped on a player in an instant midseason. Agents and teams can help with logistics, and players are well compensated for their lifestyle and these changes, but it’s still disruptive.
Fortunately for Tatum, he has risen to a status above that fray — not to say his name will never come up in another legitimate trade rumor. It inevitably will. But trades of All-NBA, franchise cornerstone players are much rarer, and the player has some leverage in them. Tatum, under contract with the Celtics for at least three more seasons (a fourth season is a player option), is not about to be moved.
Who his teammates are when camp opens in late September may be up in the air, but Tatum likes the roster the Celtics have now — the one that came within two games of an NBA title and should be better this season with the additions of Malcolm Brogdon and Danilo Gallinari.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism