Despite the Cavaliers’ victory on Monday night Jayson Tatum was arguably the best player in Game 6. The Celtics forward had 22 points over 39 minutes and played much of that time with a broken finger.
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Getty The Boston Celtics’ Jayson Tatum.
The Boston Celtics delivered with their backs against the wall on Friday night, defeating the Milwaukee Bucks 108-95 in Game 6. For Game 7, the series will not return to Boston. Jayson Tatum shone brightest among the guys who stood up, including Jaylen Brown, Derrick White, and Marcus Smart.
The superstar finished with 46 points, nine rebounds, and four assists throughout the contest. He also shot the ball well, shooting 17-for-32 from the field and 7-for-15 from beyond the arc. His outstanding performance grabbed the attention of one of the NBA’s best players.
The Portland Trail Blazers’ Damian Lillard tweeted about Tatum after the game, complimenting his high-level performance.
@jaytatum0 does something else. Bra from “unknown parts”
May 14, 2022 — Damian Lillard (@Dame Lillard)
Tatum and Lillard are pals who met while competing in the Tokyo Olympics in 2021. Tatum’s chat with Lillard was reportedly one of the key reasons he opted to join the club last June, according to sources.
Tatum was recruited to Team USA by Lillard.
According to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, Lillard contacted Tatum before to the Olympics last summer in an effort to recruit him to the team. Tatum was trying to figure out his summer intentions at the time, since the Celtics had just finished a terrible season.
“Lillard was also in contact with Boston Celtics winger Jayson Tatum, who deferred his decision on Team USA until after the season concluded in order to assess his summer plans,” Windhorst noted. “Tatum was a member of the 2019 world cup squad that ended a dismal eighth, in part due to an injured ankle he sustained during pool play.”
“When it became evident how the team was forming up, Tatum’s doubt evaporated and he committed, sources claimed,” Windhorst said. He said that Lillard and Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant were the driving forces behind his recruitment.
The United States went on to win a gold medal in the Olympics, but it wasn’t the last time Tatum and Lillard crossed paths. With the Trail Blazers’ uncertain future Lillard’s name has come up in trade speculations, with the Celtics being mentioned as a possible destination.
The Celtics have been mentioned as a possible Lillard trade destination.
Despite his unshakable devotion to Portland, Lillard has claimed that if the Trail Blazers decide to move him, he would not object. Portland has pledged to develop around him, as seen by Joe Cronin’s hire, but that may all change in a heartbeat.
One executive who talked with Adam Tayor said that Brad Stevens is a huge supporter of Lillard. Not only that, but the CEO also said that he did not believe Portland could compete with Boston’s offerings.
“If it comes down to it, I’m not sure Portland could do better than what Boston might offer,” the CEO said. “I mean, Lillard is 31, and with his injuries, he won’t receive the superstar package he could have had in the past.” If you can acquire players like Smart and White and certain picks, you may have to do it if you’re Portland.”
Lillard has previously lauded Tatum’s skill, and it’s evident that he still admires the young star’s brilliance. The ‘Lillard to the Celtics’ rumors aren’t going away anytime soon, especially since it’s been rumored that he’d like playing alongside Jaylen Brown.
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