“I play basketball and I’ve just got to control what I can control, and I love being on the Celtics,” Tatum told ESPN.
Jayson Tatum doesn’t want to leave the Celtics.
The 20-year-old forward has been at the center of trade speculation involving Pelicans star Anthony Davis and one rumor circulated last week said he “wouldn’t mind” being moved.
But, Tatum appeared to deny that report Saturday.
“You start to understand that this is a business,” Tatum told ESPN. “I play basketball and I’ve just got to control what I can control, and I love being on the Celtics. I want to play there my whole career.”
The second-year forward is averaging 16.5 points and 6.3 rebounds in 31.2 minutes per game this season. He’s shooting 45.3 percent from the field and 37.9 percent from 3-point range.
Tatum said he didn’t take the rumors personally.
“I understood coming into the NBA that it’s a business and they have to make the best decision for them, whatever that may be, Tatum said. “Especially right now in a contract, I can’t control anything.
“It didn’t really bother me. I wasn’t really fazed by it. A lot of it was rumors, I don’t know if it was true or not, but my job is just to play basketball.”
The Celtics have had an up-and-down season but entered the All-Star break tied for fourth in the Eastern Conference standings with a 37-21 record. They’ve won seven of their last nine games.
“It’s just a long season. Every year isn’t perfect,” Tatum said. “You go through ups and downs. We’ve been playing really well lately. We finished out strong going into the break. We won our last two. So, I’m just excited to get back and get ready for the playoffs.”
Boston will return to action against the Bucks in Milwaukee on Thursday.