When Boston drafted Jayson Tatum, some Boston Celtics fans were confused – some were also upset the Celts didn’t stick in their coveted 1 spot. When Boston traded down to the 3rd spot – it was sneakily obvious they had a game plan in place. Some were thinking they would stay at the top spot and draft Markelle Fultz. But when they grabbed Tatum some questioned the choice. He lit it up as a Freshman on Duke. Tatum averaged 16.8 on a pretty stacked ACC team, as it’s a bit easier to score 23 ppg playing on a weak basketball team – like the top prospect, Markelle Fultz did.
Josh Jackson was often looked at as being the first forward to be taken off the board – but the 19 year old Tatum is far more NBA ready than Jackson. Jackson also comes with a few carts full of baggage. Which could mean he becomes a future problematic headache, which is nothing any team wants, especially from their top 3 pick. Josh Jackson has a great upside, but he brings too much drama. Jackson on the season, so far has struggled, putting up just around 12ppg shooting terribly and been very foul prone.
Jayson also seems like a great young man. He seemed genuinely excited about where he was drafted. Why not, drafted by a 53 win team, who has the absolute potential to be a championship team again in the very near future? Boston needed someone with more reach other than Horford. Tatum can also play both sides of the court, he is a perfect fit with the Celtics, and their scrappy tough style.
Tatum is a forward who can score, he can score by way of off the dribble or without the ball. He dropped almost 17/game for a reason. A frontcourt guy that can actually score is something the Celtics desperately needed last season. Even though they had a pretty strong playoff run, they were heavily based off of their PG, Isaiah Thomas and his unique scoring ability, not counting the few oddball 25+ pt games by Marcus Smart and Avery Bradley. They had no forward was able to shoot off the dribble. Tatum can create his own shot from anywhere on the court, and can play good defense. As his quick hands and ability to swat shots has shown. Tatum also knows teamwork, as he had to share his points with a multitude of other All-ACC players, when playing with Duke.
If the Celtics drafted Fultz – where was he actually going to play? Boston already had a good guard rotation, with Isaiah Thomas, Avery Bradley, at the time, and even Marcus Smart. Bradley was getting them 16/night, Smart and his gritty well timed points, they were all vital cogs of their scheme. Boston was already guard heavy – with new pickups in Hayward and Kyrie Irving, they obviously saw something in Tatum that they liked. Fultz, is just not going to be a franchise player. He led his Washington team to a whopping 9 wins. Even the thought of Lonzo Ball wasn’t great – who is another kid with way too much drama.
Some Boston fans have complained, that Danny Ainge doesn’t draft well, I call nonsense. Rondo, Bradley, Smart, and Brown have all been really solid picks, and now they can add Jayson Tatum to that list of players. There is no conceivable reason why Tatum will not end up being a steady 20ppg scorer, who should likely have a long successful career in Beantown. While playing about 31 minutes a game – Tatum has been dropping 13/night, adding decent defense, to go with some smooth shooting – I would say Jayson Tatum is working out for the C’s.
Written by Mike Anthony for VegasTopDogs.