By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com
There’s a time and place to talk about the potential max contract extension that’ll inevitably come Celtics star Jayson Tatum’s way.
But the first meeting with the media following the C’s season-ending loss to the Heat was not that time.
“That’s a tough question to answer,” Tatum said. “I ain’t even thought about that yet. I was just focused on this season.”
Emerging as the true No. 1 this season and into the Orlando bubble postseason, where he averaged 25.7 points, 10 rebounds, and five assists while playing over 40 minutes per game over the course of Boston’s 16-game run, Tatum opted to keep it about the year that just wrapped and leave it to C’s brass and his representation.
“Like you guys know, that’s a process the front office and my agent have to talk about it, but I’m not thinking about that right now,” Tatum offered. “We just lost a series and I’m just thinking about the guys in that locker room and the game. That’s what I’m thinking about. So stuff like that, when it happens, if it happens, that’s not really my concern right now. I’m not even thinking about that.
“Just trying to think about the great season we had and the great players, great guys I was around. This was a hell of a year and I enjoyed it. I’m appreciative of everybody. But at the end of the day, this was fun. I’m not really thinking about the other stuff right now.”
For what it’s worth, the Celtics are expected to offer Tatum a max contract this offseason. Tatum made an All-NBA this past season, too, making him eligible for an even greater payday with Boston. It’s also worth noting that next season will be the final year of Tatum’s rookie deal, which comes with a payday just under $9.9 million.
The No. 3 overall pick in 2017, Tatum averaged career-high marks in points (23.4), rebounds (7.0), assists (3.0), and steals (1.4) per game — and shot 45.0 percent from the field, including an over 40 percent mark from deep — in 66 games in 2019-20.