The 2021-22 season was a season of significant growth for Jayson Tatum and the Boston Celtics. Tatum finally proved that he had what it takes to be the leader of a championship team. He may have come up short against the Golden State Warriors, but after making it to four of the previous six Eastern Conference Finals, Tatum and the C's finally broke the door down and made it to the Finals.
Jayson Tatum took the first step towards earning himself a nice payday
Tatum stepped up and took charge of a Celtics team that needed him to become a superstar. After a slow start, Tatum proved himself to be that player. He earned his third straight All-Star selection, finished sixth in the MVP race, and was part of the All-NBA First Team. For a guy who struggled to prove he belonged among the top players in the league, Tatum proved last season that he deserves to be in that conversation.
Those accolades are all nice, but Tatum’s selection to the All-NBA team could be the most important to him regarding a potential contract extension in the future. If Tatum were to earn an All-NBA spot again in the upcoming 2022-23 season, it would make him eligible for a five-year, $298 million supermax extension, which would be the largest contract in NBA history.
“The Celtics, Jayson Tatum earned All-NBA honors in 2021-22 and will become supermax eligible if he earns All-NBA once again in 2022-23. However, Tatum would have to wait until the 2024 offseason to sign a five-year, $298 million extension. He is ineligible next offseason because he is one year short of the years of service criteria.” - Bobby Marks, ESPN
The 2022-23 season is mightily important for Jayson Tatum
Tatum has an opportunity to shatter the record for the most expensive contract in NBA history in 2024, a record that currently belongs to his longtime friend Bradley Beal of the Washington Wizards. But whether or not Tatum ends up earning that deal will depend on how well he plays this upcoming season.
The 2022-23 season is important for Tatum for several reasons. For starters, he will be looking to prove that the Celtics’ run to the 2022 NBA Finals wasn’t a fluke. Given how Boston has only managed to get better this offseason, with key additions Malcolm Brogdon and Danilo Gallinari shoring up their bench, they should be among the favorites to make a run to the Finals next season.
But Tatum could also set himself up perfectly for a potentially groundbreaking extension. If he makes an All-NBA team, chances are Boston will offer him that mammoth deal that will ensure that he stays with the Celtics for the prime of his career.
Tatum is coming off the most impressive season of his career, but if he can take his game to another level this upcoming season, he could be set to become a wealthy man if he isn’t considered to be one already.