- Mamadou Tall
Is it Time to Break This Up?
Nowadays, we live in a microwave society. Everyone has become accustomed to getting things quickly. The idea of patience is slowly dying out. The same societal problem has appeared in the NBA. The topic of discussion; the Celtics young All-Star duo of Jaylyn Brown and Jayson Tatum. Has their partnership run its course?
The NBA has had an influx of young talent all around the league. The duo of Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum are among the cream of the crop when it comes to young talent. The pair are 25 and 23 years old, respectively. Despite their youth and potential, many people don't see this duo working out in the long run. After just four years of playing together, most NBA fans believe that it is time for these two to part ways.
Jaylen Brown donned the green of the Celtics jersey a year before Tatum was drafted. Brown was picked with the third pick after playing a lone season at Cal. Jayson Tatum had a similar draft night, getting drafted a year later with the third pick after a lone season with the Duke Blue Devils.
Most top three picks are drafted into a shitty situation. Getting drafted that high often entails losing seasons and a lot of rebuilding. Brown and Tatum were lucky enough to be lottery picks on playoff teams. With two top 3 picks in the past two drafts, the Celtics had a lot to look forward to with the young tandem. 2017 would mark the start of the Brown-Tatum era on the Celtics and boy did it start off well. Brown and Tatum were 20 and 19 years old respectively and found themselves one game away from the NBA finals. It was from there that the NBA world kept the two on their radar.
It seemed like the Celtics had struck gold in the draft and former general manager, Danny Ainge, was looking more like a mastermind as the days went by. At that point, it seemed like the Celtics had their next few years planned around Brown and Tatum leading them to success. Rightfully so.
Since that trip to Eastern Conference Finals in 2017, the duo hasn't returned. The team's success has wained during the past couple of years, but Brown and Tatum continue to take leaps with their game. During those 4 years, Tatum managed to pick up two All-Star nods and Brown picked up his first nod last season. In terms of growth and improvement, the pair have put in the work to live up to the hype. Brown went from averaging 6.6 points and 3 rebounds his rookie year to averaging 21 points, 5 rebounds, and 2 assists in the present day. Tatum went from averaging14 points and 5 rebounds as a rookie to 25 points, 8.7 rebounds, and 3.6 assists in year four.
Presently, the Celtics are sitting at the 10th spot in the East with a 13-14 record. The on-court struggles for the Celtics have caused many people to wonder if this partnership is at its end. If you ask me, I'll attribute the Celtics' troubles so far this season to injuries. Jaylen Brown has only played in 13 of the 27 games the Celtics played. So there's that. Aside from the injury to an integral part of the team, there is a lot of adjusting being down as the season is still young. With the new acquisitions of Dennis Schroder and new head coach Ime Udoka, it is reasonable to struggle early on. Jaylen Brown's return and familiarity with the new faces over time will get the Celtics right on track.
I'm not one of those people who think they should split the two. Not yet anyway. Jaylen Brown is 25 and Jayson Tatum is 23. Still fairly young, trading one of these All-Stars right now is just not smart. Four years is not enough time especially with the constant changes that their roster and front office has seen during that time. These two were literally one game away from making the NBA Finals as first year and second-year players, whose to say they can't make it to the Finals this time. Who's to say they can't win a championship with all the improvement and updated experience.
I say the Celtics stay by this duo for three more years. By that point, Jaylen Brown will be 28 and Jayson Tatum 26. If there is no championship window in the next three seasons; I say to break this shit up. Trading away one of the two will bring back a lot of assets for the Celtics to flip or work with.
The question is who do you trade? Jaylen Brown? He's already a premier two-way player in the league and an All-Star. His offensive game has come along really well pair that with his athleticism and he is a problem on the court. On the other hand, Jayson Tatum is a natural scorer, it was obvious since his rookie year. To simply put it, Tatum is a bucket and his continued improvement offensively means things can only get better in years to come. His height of 6'8 makes him a tough person to guard and a reliable player defensively. Tatum is also younger.
Who are you trading? Sadly, I would trade away Jayson Tatum and keep Jaylen Brown as my franchise player. Might be an unpopular pick too many but Jaylen Brown is the better player in my eyes. Tatum is simply just the better scorer. He isn't more efficient and he isn't a better defender, Jaylen Brown is.