How Jayson Tatum, Payton Pritchard, and other Celtics are preparing for the season


“I can’t wait to get to Boston, man.”

Jayson Tatum and Payton Pritchard both sharpened their skills over the summer. Erin Clark/Globe Staff

The Boston Celtics will begin playing basketball in just a few short months. But many of their players have already started.

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Several Celtics have been seen working out in preparation for the upcoming 2023-24 NBA season, or have posted themselves doing so (h/t Celtics Blog). Some of these players have made public appearances at pro-ams, while others have engaged in private workouts surrounded by just a few people.

An example of the latter would be forward Jayson Tatum’s workouts in Los Angeles. Tatum worked with his trainer, Drew Hanlan, and Celtics legend Paul Pierce, who was in awe of Tatum throughout the whole process.

“Watching JT sharpen those tools, seeing what greatness looks like,” Pierce said in a video posted to Tatum’s Instagram account.

Pierce has never been shy to praise Tatum. He has watched the growth of the Celtics’ newest superstar over his six seasons in the NBA, and he believes that Tatum could end his career in a way that few people have ever done before him.

“[Tatum] could end up the greatest Celtic to ever put on that uniform,” Pierce said in February. “I’m telling you, that’s what I see. He’s got that type of potential.”

Most people are well aware of Tatum’s talent by now, but many are starting to learn how good Payton Pritchard is. The guard has spent a good portion of his summer in Las Vegas, training alongside some of basketball’s best young players as part of the USA Select Team. And just recently, Pritchard teamed up with former Celtics star Isaiah Thomas at the Ball Don’t Stop Pro-Am in Vancouver, a game he finished with a record-setting 61 points.

Pritchard’s pro-am dominance is nothing new. The Celtics’ guard went viral during the summer of 2022 after he scored 92 points during a pro-am in Portland, Ore. With Marcus Smart no longer in Boston, Pritchard will likely have more opportunities to show that he can dominate games like he can pro-ams.

Even some of the newer Celtics are starting to get work in. Guard Jay Scrubb told Celtics Blog’s Adam Taylor that he, rookie forward Jordan Walsh and guards JD Davison and Dalano Banton have been working out together, and have also traveled to Atlanta to work out with guard Malcolm Brogdon and center Al Horford. 

“I can’t wait to get to Boston, man,” Scrubb told Taylor.

The Celtics lool ready to compete for their 18th championship next season. All journeys start with preparation, and it looks like many Celtics have started to do so.