Celtics Notes: Tatum, Brown, Nesmith, Hernangomez

Jaylen Brown said over the weekend that he wants to continue playing alongside Jayson Tatum with the Celtics, and now Tatum has echoed those sentiments, writes Souichi Terada of MassLive. Brown and Tatum are among the best young duos in the league, combining to score 49.7 PPG over the first half of the season. However, Boston’s record is around .500 for the second straight year and there’s been some outcry from fans and the media to trade one of them.

“We both want to be here and both want to figure it out,” Tatum said. “There’s not many players in the league like JB. The grass ain’t always greener and we’ve had some great stretches. And I think this year hasn’t been what we expected, but I think in the long run it will be good for us.”

Tatum said he talked with Brown about their fit together after the Celtics let a big lead get away in a loss to the Knicks last week. Losing big leads has been a recurring problem in Boston, and Tatum admitted that the players are still adjusting in their first season under coach Ime Udoka.

“We have to figure some things, but I think the most important thing is we both want it extremely bad,” Tatum said. “We want to try to figure it out together. So for us, it’s just being on the same page I think is extremely important, just knowing that we have each other’s back and we are going to give it all we got to try to figure this out.”

There’s more from Boston:

  • The Celtics should concentrate on building around their two stars, rather than trying to split them up, Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated states in a mailbag column. Mannix doesn’t see any players currently on the trade market who would represent equal value for either Brown or Tatum.
  • Aaron Nesmith welcomed his trip to the G League after being out of action for so long, per Taylor Snow of NBA.com. The second-year small forward spent time in the health and safety protocols, and his only appearance since December 22 was six minutes in Saturday’s game. “It’s just fun to be able to play the game of basketball no matter where it is,” Nesmith said after returning from the G League assignment. “Just being able to go out there and play freely and just kind of get back into a rhythm a little bit, it’s always fun and always a good experience.”
  • Juancho Hernangomez will be an offseason target for Real Madrid, according to Antigoni Zachari of EuroHoops. His $6.6MM contract for next season is non-guaranteed until June 30, so he’s a candidate to be cut before then.
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