Jason Tatum this summer, his name was not mentioned in any legitimate trade rumors. He is now the cornerstone of Boston’s championship hopes and, as such, is not considered.
However, almost every other Celtic have seen their name come up – there are Jaylen Brown rumors, Marcus Smart rumors plus Derrick White, Robert Williams III and others have been mentioned – while the Boston front office is debating whether to stick to their core or go all-in next season with Kevin Duran trade.
How do the players deal with it? Tatum told Celtics Wire’s Justin Quinn. that, as a pro, the player simply has to learn to “control what they can control” and turn off the noise.
This is the world we live in, right? It always comes from an anonymous source. But it always shows up on ESPN, Twitter or whatever, and everyone sees it. So you never know what’s true and what’s not, but it makes people talk about it, and I think that’s the idea. What they got out of the deal was what they wanted people to talk about it and make assumptions about. If you pay attention to everything you see on Twitter or on TV, you drive yourself crazy. I think it’s just something you have to learn 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 home fan doesn’t know the difference and can believe everything they see. And it doesn’t help that people on sports talk shows talk about it every day and we don’t know who said it, so just control what you can control. This is what I always live by.
Veterans tend to be better at the idea of ”control what you can control” – the first time in a whirlwind of trading rumors tends to confuse younger players. For the players, it’s not just fantasy basketball, when they put a different color jersey over their heads, lives are uprooted – finding a new place to live for themselves and their families, new schools for children, the problems of inventing a new city, everything that makes moving a pain in the back for all of us, falls on the player in the middle of the season. Agents and teams can help with logistics, and players are well compensated for their lifestyle and these changes, but it still gets in the way.
Luckily for Tatum, he has risen to status above this brawl – not to mention that his name will never come up in other legitimate trade rumors. It will inevitably be. But All-NBA player trades, cornerstones of the franchise, are much rarer, and the player has some influence over them. Tatum, who is under contract with the Celtics for at least three more seasons (the fourth season is up to the player), has no plans to move.
Who his teammates are when camp opens in late September may be up in the air, but Tatum likes the lineup the Celtics have now – one that was two games away from the NBA title and should be better this season with the addition of Malcolm Brogdon as well as Danilo Gallinari.