The Boston Celtics had a busy offseason in terms of players leaving and arriving in free agency. The C’s lost two key players in Kyrie Irving and Al Horford while also allowing Terry Rozier and Marcus Morris to leave in free agency.

Brad Stevens got Charlotte Hornets’ third All-NBA team point guard Kemba Walker and Enes Kanter to fill in the void left by Irving and Horford. Apart from the new arrivals, the Celtics managed to hold on to their young core, mainly Jayson Tatum, who is expected to play a major role next season – his third in the NBA.

Celtics were expected to be major players in the race for Anthony Davis, who was available via trade from New Orleans Pelicans. But they were unwilling to part with Tatum for a potential one-year rental – Davis will enter free agency next summer and he was not expected to sign a long-term deal with Boston.

The Boston franchise expect Tatum to step up big time next season not only offensively but also defensively in the absence of Horford, whom the Celtics were hoping to retain but were unable to match the offer on the table from the Philadelphia 76ers, his current employers.

An opposing NBA executive revealed to Yahoo Sports’ Keith Smith about the Celtics’ “insane” asking price to part with Tatum. A team executive also explained the reason for his slight slump last season compared to his rookie year and made it clear that there are very few players in the league that the team will consider trading Tatum for.

“We tried to get him. The price they asked was insane, as it should be. He’s going to be an All-Star. If his numbers were down, it’s only because no 19-year-old had been at that level before. Kemba (Walker) is a great addition and (Gordon) Hayward is going to be better, but Tatum is the franchise in Boston,” an opposing NBA executive told Smith, as quoted on Celtics Blog.

“To keep getting better. People say he took a step back, but he was in the toughest spot of everyone last year. He didn’t get the touches he got as a rookie. And his bar was ridiculously high. There are very few guys we would even talk about trading Jayson for. That should tell you how high we are on him,” a team executive added.

Tatum is now preparing for the Team USA training camp ahead of the FIBA World Cup in Asia that begins on Aug. 31. He will be joined in the camp by Kemba Walker and Marcus Smart while teammate Jaylen Brown is also being considered by Gregg Popovich as an option owing to the number of withdrawals.