Boston’s Future Star.
Article written by Dylan Devine (7/12/18).
The Boston Celtics third pick in the first round of the 2017 NBA draft was SF/PF from Duke, Jayson Tatum. Boston originally had the first pick and were projected to draft PG Markelle Fultz but they traded that pick to the 76ers who then drafted Fultz at number one. Trading picks with Philadelphia and drafting Jayson Tatum has proven to be another very smart decision by the Celtics organization. Due to Gordon Hayward’s season ending injury, Tatum got way more playing time than everyone expected him to get and started all but two of the Celtics 82 regular season games which is a key factor in the success that he accomplished in his rookie season. At the beginning of the season, Tatum was hitting threes at an incredibly efficient rate, was at the top of the league from beyond the arc, and became great at finding ways to create shots off the dribble and finish at the rim. As the season went along Tatum seemed to just get better and better managing to show an all around game that most rookies don’t find until their third or fourth years. It was only the beginning of the season and the 19 year old rookie was playing like a veteran. Tatum finished the regular season averaging (13.9 PPG) , (1.6 APG) ,and (5.0 RPG) while shooting 47.5% from the floor and 43.4% from three (first amongst rookies and eighth in the league). He started all 19 playoff games and was arguably Boston’s best player during the post season averaging (18.5 PPG), (2.7 APG), and (4.4 RPG). He finished the postseason scoring a total of 351 points, which ranks second among rookies in the history of the NBA behind only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. If Tatum were to have scored two more points, he would have broken the record. To further prove how great of a scorer truly is, Tatum became the first rookie in 48 years to score at least 20 points during 10 playoff games. Yet again he was behind Abdul-Jabbar. He also received the honor of being selected to the NBA All-Rookie First Team. Next season will be a step in the right direction for him and he’ll continue to prove he has the potential to be a top five player in the league that would be a franchise changing piece.