Celtics Notes: Tatum, Brown, G. Williams, Durant

Jayson Tatum spent much of his career hearing from critics who said he and Jaylen Brown could never be an effective combination, but he tells NBC Sports Boston that he and Brown never had any doubts (video link). Responding to a question about how their legacy might look if they both spend their entire careers with the Celtics, Tatum said his focus is more immediate.

“We just try to stay in the moment,” he replied. “It’s not necessarily about our legacy will look like if we did this or that. Just trying to be the best versions of ourselves, the best players that we can be and compete at the highest level. I think we really took those next steps last season. We’ll be the first to tell you that we got more to do, more to accomplish. We’re eager to do so.”

There were frequent calls for Boston to break up its star duo last season before the team began rising up the Eastern Conference standings in January. More recently, Brown was reportedly included in the Celtics’ trade offer to Brooklyn for Kevin Durant, but Tatum would like to see their partnership continue.

“Despite all the people that said we couldn’t play together,” Tatum said, “we always believed that we could.”

There’s more from Boston:

  • In an interview with Justin Quinn of Celtics Wire, Tatum confirmed the shoulder injury he suffered in the Eastern Conference Finals has healed. “Yeah, it feels a lot better, it got a lot of time to rest that it needed,” Tatum said. “So, it definitely felt a lot better.”
  • Grant Williams tells Mike Thomas of Sportscasting.com that he prefers to stay in Boston, but there would be a certain honor in being part of a Durant trade. Williams recalls a story from former Celtics executive Danny Ainge about breaking the news to Al Jefferson that he had been sent to the Timberwolves in the Kevin Garnett deal. “If I get involved in the KD trade — I don’t want to leave Boston, I love Boston, it’s one of the places I want to be — but he’s a top-10 player ever,” Williams said. “You can say, ‘Dang, I got traded for Kevin Durant. I was a value add in that trade.’ It’d be cool to say that, but at the same time, I don’t want to go anywhere. I’d rather stay where I’m at.”
  • The Celtics remain the betting favorite to land Durant, per Jeremy Cluff of The Arizona Republic. OddsChecker lists Boston as -175 to be Durant’s next team in updated odds released on Thursday.
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