Tuesday December 5, 2023

Jayson Tatum Is Already a Celtics Legend, At Relative Bargain

  • Following a 54-point outburst against the Nets, Tatum matched Larry Bird for the most 50-point games in Celtics history.
  • He's only in the first year of a five-year, $163 million contract.
Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports/Design: John Regula
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Only two players in Boston Celtics history have scored 50-plus points in multiple games: Larry Bird and Jayson Tatum.

With Sunday’s 54-point outburst against the Nets, Tatum matched Bird’s four 50-plus performances. 

Tatum is presiding over a tremendous turnaround in Boston. The Celtics have won 14 of their last 16, rank second in defensive rating (105.6), and have moved from play-in competitors to the East’s 5-seed.

  • The three-time All-Star now owns two of four Celtics scoring records — 60 points (T-1st) and 54. 
  • Boston is 16-5 this season when he scores at least 30 points; 39-18 all-time.
  • He became the second player in NBA history 25 or younger to drop 50+ points in a regular-season and postseason game against one team; the other is Wilt Chamberlain.

Tatum’s performances against the Nets have an added sting: Brooklyn traded his draft rights in 2013’s infamous blockbuster deal.

Perhaps the best part for the Celtics, whether they nab a ring this year or not, is that Tatum is only in the first year of his five-year, $163 million contract ($28.1M in 2021-22, No. 35 in NBA).

An added bonus for Boston: By not qualifying for one of last season’s All-NBA Teams, he missed out on an extra $32 million.

The only thing he’s missing is a ring. Tatum and the C’s currently have the eighth-best odds (+2200*).

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