Jayson Tatum has been in the NBA long enough to know what to expect from two of his newest teammates.
The Boston Celtics star explained to reporters Tuesday why he’s excited to play with Tristan Thompson and Jeff Teague, who joined the team Tuesday as free-agents. Teague and Thompson bring 20 years of NBA experience between them as well as their respective reputations, which Tatum believes will boost the youthful Celtics roster.
“I’m happy for those two guys to be on this team,” Tatum said in a video press conference. “I think they bring a level of maturity, obviously being two veteran guys.
“Tristan has won at the highest level. His defensive presence, communication and rebounding will be really helpful.
“Then Jeff Teague, who has been in L.A. for a very long time, has had a lot of success and is well-respected among all his peers. And he can run a team. He can create for himself and others … .”
Tatum concluded his remarks on Thompson and Teague by restating their roles in Boston’s ultimate pursuit: the NBA Finals.
“I’m happy that they’ve come to us. We’ll help each other and play for a championship. I’ve competed against both of them for three years now, and I’m glad they’re on our team.”
The Celtics began training camp Tuesday. Their first preseason game will be Dec. 15 against the Philadelphia 76ers. The 2020-21 NBA season will tip off one week later.
The short timeline gives Thompson and Teague little time to settle into their new surroundings, so they probably will rely on the traits that have brought them to this point.
Doing so likely will help the Celtics, and make Tatum and many others happy.