Celtics Notes: Tatum, Brown, Ryan, Roster Spots

The Celtics are among the teams that have made a trade offer for Kevin Durant, but their pursuit of a talent upgrade may put team chemistry at risk. In a brief interview posted by NBC Sports Boston, Jayson Tatum talked about how long it took for the team to come together last season and how fragile chemistry can be.

“Chemistry is half the battle,” he said (video link). “You can have a great team with great talent, and not necessarily jell well together. You guys saw, we figured it out in January and never looked back.”

The Celtics struggled through the first part of last season, but were dominant over the second half on their way to the NBA Finals. They have been able to upgrade their roster so far this offseason by adding Malcolm Brogdon and Danilo Gallinari without giving up significant rotation players.

There’s more from Boston:

  • The Celtics need to “tread very carefully” with the idea that they’re willing to trade Jaylen Brown, ESPN’s Tim MacMahon says on Brian Windhorst’s Hoop Collective (video link). Brown was the most valuable asset in Boston’s reported trade offer, which was turned down by the Nets. MacMahon notes that Brown is underpaid for his production, and the size of his contract doesn’t make an extension worthwhile. MacMahon also warns that Brown will have “several attractive options” when he hits free agency in 2024.
  • Matt Ryan is coming off a strong Summer League performance, but his options for making the roster are limited now that the Celtics have filled both two-way slots, Brian Robb of MassLive writes in his latest mailbag column. Ryan, who ended last season on a two-way deal, can hope for an Exhibit 10 contract, but Robb notes that he’ll be competing for roster spots with Brodric Thomas, Justin Jackson and whatever free agents the team adds before the start of training camp.
  • Like many teams, the Celtics are moving slowly in filling out their roster, Robb adds. Boston still has three spots open, and most of the free agents remaining on the market will likely sign veteran’s minimum contracts. Robb suggests Boston might keep a roster spot open past the cutdown date in hopes of landing someone who gets waived by another team.
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