By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com
The Boston Celtics have taken care of their top priority this offseason, as the team signed forward Jayson Tatum to a five-year, $195 million max extension Sunday, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. The fifth year of the deal is a player option.
Emerging as the Celtics’ true No. 1, Tatum established career-best 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 for the Celtics this past season. Becoming the first Celtics player to average at least 23.0 points and 7.0 rebounds in a single season since Paul Pierce in 2002-03, Tatum’s regular season was enough to earn him All-NBA Third Team honors.
That nod made Tatum the third Celtic to earn an All-NBA team honor in four years (Kyrie Irving and Isaiah Thomas were the others), but also made him just the second player in C’s history to earn All-NBA honors before turning 23. (Ed Macauley was the other, accomplishing the feat back in 1950-51.)
Tatum kept his strong play rolling inside the Orlando playoff bubble, too, with a team-leading 25.7 points, 10.0 rebounds, and 1.2 blocks per game. Tatum also ranked second in assists per game, which his 5.0 dishes per night just behind Kemba Walker’s team-leading 5.1.
In fact, Tatum’s 25.7 points were the sixth-most among any playoff talent with at least 10 games played in the 2020 postseason, trailing only Jamal Murray, LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Kawhi Leonard, and James Harden. The 6-foot-8 Tatum also tied a LeBron record during that 17-game postseason run.
Tatum’s extension keeps the Celtics’ one-two with Tatum and Jaylen Brown, who signed a four-year extension worth $115 million last year, signed through the 2023-24 season.
Drafted with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, Tatum has averaged 17.3 points per game through the first three seasons of his NBA career, and already ranks 10th on the Celtics’ all-time three-pointers list, with 410.