Jayson Tatum and Brandon Ingram, both free agents this offseason, were given their contracts this week and their fantastic play is paying off, literally. Both were given max contracts by their respective teams on Monday and Tuesday.
Jayson got $195M for five years from the Boston Celtics. At 22 years old, Duke’s one-and-done superstar averaged 23.4 points per game last season and led the Celts to the Eastern Conference Finals. They fell to the Miami Heat in playoffs but came inches from the NBA Finals with Jayson, an All-Star, at the helm. He is absolutely one of the NBA’s best franchise players, especially under 25.
Over in New Orleans, Brandon got $158M for five years from the Pelicans. Just a year older than Tatum, Brandon won Most Improved Player for the 2020 season, as he beat his (relatively good) career stats and became an All-Star for the first time. New Orleans is a team to watch for the next five years: they drafted Zion Williamson in 2019 with the first pick, and are likely to resign him next year in free agency. Brandon Ingram and Zion are the franchise duo that NOLA is riding with.
College basketball starts today! Post on that coming soon.
Some were worried about a second-year drought for Jayson Tatum. Well, it hasn’t been too long, but Jayson Tatum’s sophomore season started off with a bang last night in TD Garden, where Jayson went for a game-high 23 points and snagged 9 rebounds. There’s an excellent ESPN story here by one of the greats, Jackie MacMullan, about his journey to becoming a budding star and how he handles that along with his own personal life, mainly concerning his son. You have to tip your hat to a dad that will do this:
According to the Daily Express, the Boston Celtics have decided not to shop Jayson Tatum or any of his top-5 Boston counterparts in a trade for Kawhi Leonard of the San Antonio Spurs. San Antonio was reportedly hoping for a proposal that might involve one of Boston’s young talents Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, which will be denied.