2023 NBA Playoffs

Tatum: It's ‘extremely important' for Celtics to keep Jaylen Brown

Jaylen Brown's future remains unclear, but Jayson Tatum showed unequivocal support for his Celtics teammate Monday.

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BOSTON -- Jaylen Brown was at a loss for words late Monday night when asked about his NBA future. So, Jayson Tatum did the talking for him.

The offseason has arrived unexpectedly early for the Celtics' two All-Stars, who both struggled in Boston's 103-82 loss to the Miami Heat in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals at TD Garden.

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Brown is eligible for a $ 295 million supermax contract extension this summer after making second team All-NBA this season but didn't seem ready to discuss his potential future in Boston after the season-ending loss.

"I expected to win today and move on," Brown said. "That’s what my focus was on, and that’s what my focus has been on. We failed. I failed. It’s hard to think about anything else right now, to be honest. We’ll cross that bridge when we get there."

Brown gave a few noncommittal answers about Celtics future during the season, leading some to wonder if he'd remain in Boston long-term with his current contract set to expire after the 2023-24 season. The chatter around Brown almost certainly will increase this summer, especially after a rough Game 7 in which he committed a postseason-high eight turnovers and went 1 of 9 from 3-point range.

But Brown still has a strong supporter in Tatum, who said in no uncertain terms that he wants his All-Star teammate to remain in Boston.

"It's extremely important," Tatum said of the importance of the Celtics keeping Brown in Boston long-term. "He's one of the best players in this league. Plays both ends of the ball and is still relatively young. He's accomplished a lot so far in his career, so I think it's extremely important."

Expect the debate of whether to "break up the Jays" to resurface this offseason after the Celtics failed to get back to the NBA Finals despite being heavy favorites against the No. 8 seed Heat. But this is still a duo that's been to four Eastern Conference Finals together in six seasons and still have their best basketball in front of them at ages 26 and 25.

At the very least, it appears Tatum still wants Brown to stick around as Boston continues its quest to finish its "unfinished business."

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