East Notes: Celtics, Jayson Tatum, Nets, Mikal Bridges, Hornets


Winning a championship is never cheap, and that is what’s facing the Celtics this offseason, wrote Chris Herring of ESPN in an insider-only piece.Jayson Tatum, Celtics, NBA

“After breezing through the postseason to win the NBA title, it shouldn’t be controversial to suggest that Boston run it back,” Herring wrote. “But doing so will cost the Celtics’ front office a ton of money, given that the team has already exceeded the second apron. Jayson Tatum is eligible to sign the most lucrative contract in NBA history, for five years and $315 million. (Jaylen Brown‘s supermax deal from last summer, for five years and $304 million, is the current record.)”

With that in mind, there’s probably not a whole lot that the Celtics can change. Nor do they probably want to change much.

“Team president Brad Stevens also needs to figure out how to extend Derrick White, who is eligible to sign for four years and $126 million, and sharpshooter Sam Hauser,” Herring wrote. “Locking in the franchise’s key pieces would be a win, though, even if it comes at a heavy financial cost.”

  • The Celtics held a draft workout of six players on the day after winning the championship, with the front office getting virtually no sleep. (Full story.) Boston owns the Nos. 30 and 54 overall picks in Wednesday’s draft.
  • Akron forward Enrique Freeman recently worked out for the Celtics and buried 69 of 100 3-pointers, sources tell Hoops Wire. He could be in play at No. 30.


The Nets will need to do everything in their power to bring back Nic Claxton, an unrestricted free agent this offseason, Herring wrote.

Along with that, they may want to consider using some draft capital to get some win-now players.

Mikal Bridges is fantastic — someone any team would want — but this season suggested he isn’t a dominant enough playmaker to be the No. 1 option,” Herring wrote. “Because of that, Brooklyn should seek to extend Bridges at a reasonable, but not max, number. And finding a reasonable extension number for 22-year-old Cam Thomas, who averaged 22.5 points in just his third season, would be a wise step, too, as he grows his all-around game.”

  • The Nets reportedly have “zero interest” in trading Bridges, as we relayed here.
  • One trade proposal sends Bridges to the Thunder for guard Josh Giddey and three draft picks. We have that full hypothetical deal right here.


As we relayed, perhaps the Hornets’ biggest offseason priority — along with the No. 6 pick — is figuring out what to do with unrestricted free agent Miles Bridges.

A sign-and-trade involving Bridges would be the best idea, Herring opined.

“The Hornets — third worst in the league on offense, second worst in defense and starting over with a new coach and front office — need help everywhere,” Herring wrote. “They’d be smart to avoid sinking too many resources into Bridges and LaMelo Ball, who has missed 134 games over the past four seasons, and building around 2023 No. 2 overall pick Brandon Miller, while focusing on the best player available at No. 6 this year to continue building toward the future.”

  • I’m with Herring on this one. Build around Miller. He is as dynamic and promising as they come.
  • One hypothetical trade proposal sends Hawks guard Dejounte Murray to Charlotte. We have that full post here.

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