Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Enes Kanter believes Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum 'have the potential to be All-Stars this year'

Celtics center Enes Kanter has some high expectations for the 2019-20 season, especially for two of his new teammates; Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum.

Kanter, who signed a two-year deal with the Celtics earlier this month and poked fun at Kyrie Irving during his introductory press conference, has quickly become a fan favorite in Boston. While Kanter is clearly excited to be in green and white, he's already made a bold prediction about how young vets Brown and Tatum will become All-Stars in 2020.
"I think they both have the potential to be All-Stars this year," said Kanter during a Q&A with Hoops Hype. "I think they have all of the tools – they're hardworking guys, they're willing to learn, they have amazing character on and off the court and they're amazingly talented. I think for Jaylen and Jayson the ceiling is, of course, to be All-Stars. With their work ethic and leadership, I definitely think they can take our team to the next level and take us really, really deep into the playoffs. I've already met Jaylen; he's an amazing guy. We were actually playing two-on-two; it was me and Jaylen Brown against Gordon Hayward and Tacko Fall. It was amazing! I'm definitely very excited to play with those guys."
After a stellar playoff run in 2018 for both Brown and Tatum, they were slated to have an encouraging season last year. However, Tatum's field goal and three-point percentage dipped in year two, while Brown struggled offensively and with injuries early on, he lost his starting job to Marcus Smart, before he settled into his sixth man role and had improved by the postseason.

Brown is eligible for a rookie-contract extension before the NBA's deadline in October, but if the Celtics wing holds out and turns in a great fourth season, Brown could cash in for a good pay day as a restricted free agent next summer.

Taum, who has been 'very locked in' during his offseason workouts thus far, is poised to have an important third year, as he and Brown will also get a shot to represent Team USA at next month's FIBA World Cup in China.

With the addition of Kemba Walker and hopes of improved team chemistry, the Celtics could look to rely on Brown and Tatum as the roster's X-factors this upcoming season in order to remain a top-four seed in the East.

For Kanter's prediction to come true, Brown and Tatum have to far exceed expectations, while raising their level of play on a consistent basis throughout the entire year.

It should be interesting to see how the Celtics many summer changes fit-together come training camp.

Joel Pavón

Picture used courtesy of The Associated Press

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