The Boston Celtics had plenty of assets at their disposal this summer they could have used to swing a major trade.
But that major trade never came ... possibly because the Celtics were less willing to part with some assets over others.
Keith Smith of SB Nation's CelticsBlog shared a quote Tuesday from an opposing NBA executive who apparently inquired about trading for forward Jayson Tatum.
"We tried to get him. The price they asked was insane, as it should be," the executive told Smith, adding that Tatum "is the franchise in Boston."
It's no surprise the Celtics rebuffed a team seeking to acquire Tatum, as they reportedly even debated including the 21-year-old in a deal for New Orleans Pelicans superstar Anthony Davis.
According to Smith, a Celtics executive confirmed just how confident the team is in the former No. 3 overall pick.
"There are very few guys we would even talk about trading Jayson for," the executive said. "That should tell you how high we are on him."
That executive also noted Tatum was "in the toughest spot of everyone" last season on a crowded roster forced him to share touches with fellow forwards Gordon Hayward and Marcus Morris. Tatum's scoring increased from 13.9 points per game as a rookie to 15.7 points per game in 2018-19, but his shooting percentage (47.5 to 45.0) and 3-point percentage (43.4 to 37.3).
But with Morris, Kyrie Irving, Al Horford and Terry Rozier leaving in free agency, Boston clearly expects Tatum to take a leap in Year 3 ... and kept him around because of it.
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