Jayson Tatum will prioritise winning over starting for the Celtics next season

The Boston Celtics are expected to go into the new season with a fully healthy roster and that will pose a good problem for head coach Brad Stevens.

Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving will return from their respective injuries and should go straight into the starting lineup.

That could potentially mean that one of the team’s young stars may have to come off the bench, depending on how Stevens chooses to play.

Making a sacrifice

With Jaylen Brown able to play at the shooting guard position, Jayson Tatum could be the man that has to be sacrificed.

He benefited from injuries to Hayward and Irving and produced a very impressive rookie season.

The 20-year-old led the team in scoring in the playoffs with 18.5 points per night and took on a leadership role offensively.

Despite his huge talent, he may have to take more of a backseat to his returning All-Star teammates but he has no problem adapting to a different role for the sake of the team.

“I understand how deep our team is,” he said, in an interview with Nicole Yang of Boston.com.

“I just care about winning and doing what I can while I’m on the floor.”

This mature approach is one of many reasons why the small forward has such a bright future ahead of him.

There aren’t many players who would accept coming off the bench if they’d enjoyed the type of year that he did.

Just a couple of months ago, he was going toe-to-toe with LeBron James in the Eastern Conference Finals and was just one win away from leading them to the NBA Finals for the first time since 2010.

Versatile

But with Tatum’s versatility, there could be an opportunity for him to play at the power forward position and retain his starting spot.

The Duke product has spent time working with Kobe Bryant this offseason and revealed that one thing they focused on was improving his post moves.

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“We did a lot of post moves and things like that, so I had a pretty good feel for everything he showed me, just maybe a few changes here and there,” he told Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe.

He also stated that he’s spent a lot of time on his body with the aim of getting stronger.

“It’s tough to put on a bunch of weight right now, being how young I am, but I definitely have gotten a lot stronger,” he said.

His willingness to embrace any role will make his head coach’s life much easier but with such a deep and talented roster, the possibilities for the Celtics are endless.

They’ll have opportunities to roll out multiple lineups and play in different styles with the personnel they have their disposal and it’s one of the reasons why they’re the favourites in the east.

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