Atlantic Notes: Tatum, Irving, Brown, Knicks Draft

When the Celtics signed Jayson Tatum to a five-year max extension in November 2020, they were looking for him to deliver superstar performances in the postseason. He did just that in Game 6 against Milwaukee on Friday, Jared Weiss of The Athletic writes. Tatum saved Boston’s season and forced a Game 7 with his 46-point outburst.

“It’s why he gets paid the big bucks. That’s it right there, for moments like that,” Celtics guardMarcus Smart said. “I was telling him the whole game, ‘Just be you, man,’ and he was. That’s what he gets paid to do. That’s what we lean on him to do.”

We have more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Kyrie Irving‘s tumultuous season will apparently cost him a lucrative sponsorship. Nike is unlikely to extend Irving’s signature shoe contract beyond next season, ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne and Adrian Wojnarowski report. The Nets guard has had a business relationship with the company since 2014. It’s still expected Nike will offer some product associated with him in the future, such as retro shoes from previous collections.
  • Re-signing free agent Bruce Brown for anything less than $10MM should be a priority for the Nets, according to John Hollinger of The Athletic. Hollinger also believes Brooklyn will defer the first-round pick Philadelphia owes them until next year in order to retain its flexibility on trades. Hollinger and Alex Schiffer explore the Nets’ offseason extension and free agent decisions in this analysis piece.
  • With the lottery approaching on Tuesday, Fred Katz of The Athletic looks at five mock draft scenarios for the Knicks, depending upon where they end up in the first round.
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