The Celtics drafted the new future this summer, and his name is Jayson Tatum.
Here’s what you need to know: This kid rocks, and you should love him.
The Celtics and Danny Ainge made a very big power move on Draft Day, moving the number one overall lottery pick for another first round pick in either 2018 or ’19 and the third overall pick in the draft. With all the hype surrounding former Washington guard Markelle Fultz, he was expected to be a shoe in as the future of the Boston Celtics. Instead, Ainge worked his magic and was able to move a few spots back and get a player who may be even better than Fultz – Jayson Tatum. Oh, and there’s another first round pick on the way in the deal as well.
Tatum, a powerhouse forward for Duke University, shined in his Summer League minutes – posting three 20+ point games over the first five. During one of those games, he even hit a game winning shot. His shot selection has been sometimes questionable, but when it’s questioned it more often than not is a made shot. In short, this kid is money.
His mid-post game is also very impressive – showing that he can hit a step-back jump shot as good as the rest of the league. If anything, it is his signature move, something he showed a great deal of success with at Duke.
— NBA (@NBA) July 9, 2017
It’s not just one time shots, he’s really good at this..
That Jayson Tatum turn around tho 👀 pic.twitter.com/uhSqIfaSI5
— NBA (@NBA) July 10, 2017
It’s no secret he can show success in the mid-post, and it was actually a major focus on his scouting report when Draft Day came. A team that had its own struggles at the forward position (here’s looking at you, Amir Johnson), Tatum is a major improvement offensively.
We’ve seen that Tatum is already a step up on offense compared to Johnson and now Miami Heat big-man Kelly Olynyk, it’s integrating him with Isaiah and Gordon Hayward that’ll be the key to success – the only point of work for Tatum being three point shooting and crashing the board while on offense. Working on those two areas and creating that chemistry on offense will make the Celtics a dangerous force in the East, and can once again give Lebron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers a run for their money. Yes, he is young and has yet to play a minute of professional ball but we may be looking at a potential rookie of the year here. He can be that good on offense.
On the other end, we Defensively we see the departure of Avery Bradley, and while he was a major point on defense and offense it will be interesting to see how Tatum can develop into an immediate key role on both ends of the court. At 6’8″ he’s already one of the taller players on the team, and showed his dominance with his size at Duke but in the professional level his size is league standard.
Because of this, he is a transition forward that will be dominated by true big men. He isn’t a super athletic forward, which could pose as a downside to him on the defensive end. Despite this, he is young and (maybe) still growing. There are very few occurrences where a player can come into the league and be an immediate force on both ends, and with time Tatum will polish and round his defensive skills to become a very respectable defensive player. This is what you should look forward to going forward.
Come opening night, all the eyes of New England will be focused on Jayson Tatum, not Gordon Hayward. A player that has drawn early comparisons to Carmelo Anthony and Rudy Gay can be huge for a franchise that has been on the rise recently. Who knows, me might even be the next Paul Pierce – we just have to hop on board and see for ourselves.