Jayson Tatum- 6-8, 210,

PF, Duke, 50.4% 2-P, 2.1 APG

6-11" WS, 34.2% 3-P, 6-10.5 SR,

16.8 PPG, 7.3 RPG,  1.3 SPG, and 1.1 BPG

Tatum: Part II: Reason To Believe.

By Tom Mahoney

The best news is that one of the best modern NBA talent evaluators loves Tatum, and thinks he will be a Paul pierce like star. "We would’ve picked him with the first pick," Ainge said. "The draft was very even, we felt, at the top all the way through five or six. It was very difficult. There were a lot of players we liked in this year’s draft. We like his: size, length, rebounding, shooting, intelligence, character. There’s a lot to like about Jayson. He’s going to be a terrific player." You can say what you want about Ainge (like call him Captain Underpants;), but the man can draft. 

But the biggest news from Draft night was that Trader Danny couldn't pull off the Paul George trade. "It certainly hasn’t closed a window that we didn’t do it tonight," Ainge said. "There’s still a window open for trade opportunities for us in July." Now they have to wait until July 1st (which is only Saturday for Auerbach sakes;).

So the pursuit of Hayward and George continues. It makes it a bit harder because the NBA Salary Cap came in at 99-Mil instead of 101-Mil. "That hurt," Ainge said about the Cap losing 2-Mil. "That hurt a little bit. A little sting, but that’s going to make it a little more challenging. We’ll be able to fix it. We’re in foul trouble right now, but we’ll be back. We’ll be back in the second half." But it hurts a lot less than it is being reported for a couple of reasons. 

First off the trade for George will actually hurt them on the Cap a little, but not much. One of the rules to help facilitate trades in a hard Cap is the 125% rule, which essentially gives Indy a 25% discount in contracts. If they trade Bradley and Crowder back to Indy it is approximately a 15-Mil for 18-Mil Cap cash swap. Or, George's contract has to be within 125% of the 15-Mil in Celtics contracts. But that is really only about a 3-Mil difference. 

Danny will really show his magic in this trade if he ends up with George, Hayward, and Tatum off trading the Number One Pick (the George trade includes the pick they got form Philly). "I like it," Smart said said. "Like I said, ' Danny’s a magician when it comes to things like this.' He’s real good at thinking this one way and then going another way. But he understands and he knows what he wants, and he knows what this team needs. He does a really good job at that, so we just leave those things to Danny." Because while the Draft is fun and insanely entertaining, it is veterans who win games. 

It is sometimes incomprehensibly difficult to put together a deal like either of the two. Trying to pull off two of these would be magic. Just the trade for George, who was a 3-time All-Defensive team and a 3-time All-NBA guy, is proving to be extremely difficult. As is has been going on for a week now, and could crumble at any moment (if Indy can't practice their patience;). The good news is that they have Indy on the hook. George saying he won't resign with them, gives them one shot at getting some great compensation for their fleeing All-Star to jump start the rebuild.

Signing Hayward is less difficult. "You’re talking about a guy that’s an All-Star," Smart said. "So, I mean, that guy, just to see the work he’s put in, and everything like that. It’s incredible to see what he can do." It is all about recruiting with Hayward.

Last season he averaged: 22.9 PPG, 3.6 APG, and 5.6 RPG. "He’s an awesome player," Smart said. "The dude, he understands the game very well. I think it’s ’cause he had Brad as a coach [in college]. But no. I’m kidding. The dude, he’s incredible. He’s a great player. He’s a great guy. I think I speak for a lot of guys in this league when I say that." The recruiting has been going on  long before he was drafted by Utah. 

He will either want to be reunited with his college coach or he won't. "He’s such a good coach and such a great guy and mentor to me," Hayward said at the All-Star Game. "I’m happy we’re here." He had a great season last year, after hitting 40% from Three. 

So the Gordon signing is all about the Stevens-Hayward's relationship. "For him to get a chance to be among the elite players in the game is a special opportunity that was earned," Stevens said at the All-star game. "It’s earned with your individual success and what your team is able to do. Their team is having such great success. I’m happy that he gets a chance to experience this, and that they look like a team that’s going to make a deep run in the playoffs." So the recruiting has been going on for a while (including a Celtic onesie;). 

Which is actually a great sign for the Celtics that his camp has gone silent. "He’s gotten bigger and stronger and that’s been a big part of his growth. He’s able to play more physical on both sides of the ball, and he’s a physical driver," Steven said about Gordon at the All-Star game. "Sometimes people talk about playing hard on defense and equate it with getting loose balls and rebounds and such, but I think you have to play hard on offense too. He’s a physical, hard guy to stop because he drives it so well." He shot 51% from the floor, and 84% on FT. He has played in 11 Playoff games.

The deal with Hayward is done recruitment-wise, there is just no other way to see it. "It’s special to watch him," Stevens said. "He’s made great strides. Very exciting for him, and the organization that he’s an All-Star. He’s certainly earned it. He’s shown tremendous growth throughout all of his years playing, but certainly all of his time here. I think he deserves a lot of credit and I think the coaching staff deserves a lot of credit. He plays in a great system for him and he’s doing a good job." So it is all about the Cap math now.

Though there will be Celtic veterans that we will miss, if Danny's magic works. "I mean, that’s the uniqueness of the NBA," Smart said. "Every year it’s a possibility the guys to your left and right might not be there. So you just know you’ve got to cherish those moments and really never take those moments for granted." Both George and Hayward were All-Star players last year.

You win with Stars in the NBA, and Isaiah gives them three. "To get back to where they were last year and get over that hump," Ainge said. "Championships. Chasing that number 18. That would be the ultimate success for me." So all these drafts, trades, and free agent signing shenanigans are only about Banner 18.

George and Hayward are both veteran shooters, and you need shooters to win a Banner in the NBA (because of the extra point you get for a 3-Point shot;). "In today’s game, if you can’t shoot you ruin your team's offense," Ainge said. "If the opponent doesn’t really have to worry about you, it changes the spacing on the floor." One thing Tatum can do is shoot, and create his own shot.

Another good thing about Tatum is that Krzyzewski said that he got better rebounding, and most importantly on defense, during the season. He is an excellent free throw shooter. He has a knack for blocking shoots at the rim. He showed he could get a little lower and wider on defense at the end of the season. He can also box out bigger and smaller guys on the boards by getting low and using his hip, butt, and elbows.

He was injured and missed eight games last season. "We've got to be careful not to get these guys coming back too soon," Krzyzewski said. "Jayson was doing great. I think we put him in practice a little too soon, and I think that hurt him. We're just going to shut those guys down for a while." Which did hurt his development a little. 

I would have thought that getting low and wide on defense would have been a strength of his after his time with Krzyzewski. "Jayson has a chance to be a special player in the NBA, and he was that at Duke for one year," Krzyzewski said. "He's a kid that can go in and be a starter anywhere in the NBA. His game translates as well to the NBA maybe as well or better than anyone in the draft." Because he can create his own shot.

And that is always a needed commodity to help you win in the NBA. "He does whatever he has to do to help you win," a scout said. "Like all of these kids coming into the league now, he has some things he has to get better at, get more consistent with. But he makes winning plays, whether it’s for himself or others. He’s a lot more unselfish a player than he’s given credit for being." Plus, all great scorers are a little selfish with the ball in their hands. 

You have to be, to be a great scorer in NBA. "He’s the kind of young man you’d love whether he was a basketball player or not," an exec said. "If you’re ranking guys on character alone in this draft, he’s your number one pick." I apologize (for saying this again;), but it always comes back to smarts, work ethic, and character.

If they are tall and talented enough to play in the NBA. "Jayson is a high character guy. We know he will get better because of his character and his work ethic," Ainge said. "It’s dangerous to play too much into a 19-year-old kid’s behavior. But I think that with all the things we do, from: physical, emotional, mental, character, work ethic and their skills? It’s just really hard at 19. You hate to just be labeled what you are at 18." So being selfish with the ball at 19 is certainly more than expect, it is sometimes wished for.

He also brought a lot of that offensive versatile that you want to see. He did have six games last season at Duke where he garnered more than: 3 assists (with is imperative to me), 2 blocks, 5 rebounds, and 10 point. But what worries me is that steals didn't make that list (which means he average less than 1 steal per game in those games). 

He will play less than Brown played as a rookie last season. Brown was a better defender in his one year at Cal than Tatum was a defender in his one year at Duke. Stevens will only play young guys in direct relation to their ability to understand and play his defense. And as we saw in the Playoffs, Brown's defense was phenomenal. 

Tatum's Defense Vs Isaac:

Tatum steps out on Isaac at the Angle. This is important because Isaac was mostly a shooting guard in high school, and had a very late growth spurt that made him a Big as a senior. But he has retained a lot of guard skills. Like Tatum, he can drive to the hole with either hand (:38). Tatum did a good job getting wide in his stance, but he needs to get lower. He cut off the left hand a little in his stance, but didn't really commit. So he reacted a little slow to the lefty drive. So he started off terrible. But he recovered nicely. He burst to his right to cut off the angle a little. Then he did a great job absorbing the contact by the Big Picker. He used his hands and feet, a little too high, but with great balance as he fought around the Big. Then he leaped up and got his hand in the way of the shot, but scraped his arm a little. Stevens can work with that D.

He played with better eyes here, and looked more ready and committed to playing defense. He worked his way up to help on the Isaac pick. Watch the nice switch as the Big tried to stop him with a back pick. He bounced around him nicely with his hands and feet again (:50). But then he lost defensive commitment again. The PG went into the corner. So Tatum turned on the TV, and sat and watched Isaac hustle for a board and dunk (but at least he had nice seats;). That is what worries me about his defense. He has to hustle to the Boards there.

Great job leaving the Big, and cutting off the point guard. When he is playing, and not watching, he has more lateral quicks and agility than I thought (1:07). He lost sight of the weakside rim protector. But that was an incredible block to get over from the other side of the rim  (1:30). He stays with Isaac down court (1:50). Then switched to the Wing in the corner. Again, after watching Isaac attack him from the weakside with a great anticipation block, he sits and watches from the weakside. He does not have Isaac's eye and anticipation on defense. He has those eyes and anticipating on offense, but he chooses to sit and watch on defense too much.

He does consistently do a good job blocking out his man on the D-boards (2:03). Having him as the front man in the Press is very impressive. He can move his feet well laterally and backwards when he wants to. He did a good job steering him into the trap, but his teammate didn't step up and cut him off (2:16). He showed some interesting physical traits on defense. But I always thought it was anticipation, heart and hustle with him on defense. 

He is going to get a lot of short minutes for the Celtics this season. So he needs to out hustle himself on defense, more than he does on offense. He is a kid who has been told to expend more energy on offense than on defense. Now it is just the opposite. Especially if they acquire a Wing who was three time All-Defensive player in the NBA. Plus, Brown has about a year and half on him defensively. He played almost 100 NBA games last year (78 regular season games, and most importantly 17 Playoff games). Playing time is all about defense in a Brad Steven's coached team.

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Tatum's Defense Vs Isaac: 



Tatum's Official Bio:


• Played in 29 games with 27 starts
• Averaged 16.8 points, 7.3 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 1.3 steals and 1.1 blocks per game
• Declared for the NBA Draft on March 22, 2017, after one season at Duke

• One of five finalists for the Julius Erving Small Forward of the Year Award
• Earned USBWA All-District III honors
• A third-team All-ACC selection and a member of the ACC All-Freshman Team
• Named ACC Rookie of the Week three times (12/12, 2/13, 2/20) and Wayman Tisdale National Freshman of the Week once (12/13)
• Named to the All-ACC Tournament first team after leading the team with averages of 22.0 points, 7.5 rebounds and 1.5 steals as Duke became the first team to win four games in as many days to claim the championship
• Played in 29 games, starting 27 times, and averaging 16.8 points, 7.3 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 1.3 steals and 1.1 blocks in 33.3 minutes per game
• Missed the first eight games of the season with a foot injury
• For the season, ranked fifth in the ACC in free throw percentage (.849), seventh in defensive rebounds (6.0), 10th in total rebounds (7.3) and 12th in scoring (16.8)
• Ranked second among ACC freshmen in scoring and rebounding
• Averaged 16.1 points, 7.2 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.2 steals per game in ACC play
• In conference play, ranked fifth in the ACC in defensive rebounds (5.8), seventh in free throw percentage (.853), ninth in total rebounds (7.2) and 16th in scoring (16.1)
• Averaged 16.5 points and 7.5 rebounds in two NCAA Tournament games
• Led Duke in rebounds 11 times, scoring eight times and assists six times on the year
• Scored in double figures 26 times, including seven games with at least 20 points, and recorded three double-doubles
• Threw down a team-high 18 dunks on the season
• Finished the season ranked fourth on Duke's freshman charts in free throws made (118), fifth in rebound average (7.3) and free throw percentage (.849), sixth in scoring average (16.8) and 10th in minutes (33.3)
• Made his Duke debut in the home win over Maine (12/3), finishing with 10 points and eight rebounds
• Lit up No. 21 Florida for 22 points on 7-of-12 shooting and eight rebounds in the Jimmy V Classic win at Madison Square Garden (12/6)
• Had 18 points, eight rebounds and four blocks in the win over Elon (12/21)
• Put up 19 points, six rebounds, four assists and four steals in the home win over Georgia Tech (1/4)
• Scored 22 points on just nine field goal attempts and added four steals in a home win over Boston College (1/7)
• Tallied 19 points and a season-high 14 boards in Duke's win at No. 20 Notre Dame (1/30)
• Had 19 points, nine rebounds and five assists in Duke's home win over No. 8 North Carolina (2/9)
• Dropped a season-high 28 points to go along with eight boards in the victory at No. 15 Virginia (2/15); tied Duke's single-game freshman record with six three-pointers on the night
• Recorded his second double-double with 19 points and 13 rebounds at Syracuse (2/22)
• Had 15 points, nine rebounds and four assists in a home win over No. 15 Florida State (2/28)
• Opened the ACC Tournament with 20 points, nine boards and four assists in a win over Clemson (3/8)
• Scored 25 points on 9-of-15 shooting to help Duke down No. 10 Louisville in the ACC Tournament quarters (3/9)
• Had 24 points and seven rebounds as the Blue Devils defeated No. 6 North Carolina in the ACC Tournament semis (3/10)
• Accounted for 19 points and eight rebounds in the win over No. 22 Notre Dame in the ACC Tournament final (3/11)
• Registered his third double-double with 18 points, 12 boards, four blocks and four steals in the win over Troy in the first round of the NCAA Tournament (3/17)
• Had 15 points against South Carolina in the second round of the NCAA Tournament (3/19)

USA Basketball:
• Owns three gold medals as a member of the USA Basketball program: 2015 FIBA U19 World Championship, 2014 FIBA U17 World Championship and 2013 FIBA Americas U16 Championship
• Recorded 14 points and four rebounds to help the U.S. defeat World Select at the 2016 Nike Hoop Summit in Portland
• Selected to participate in the 2015-16 USA Basketball Men's Junior National Team minicamp
• Averaged 13.9 points and 4.6 rebounds to help lead the U.S. to gold at the 2015 FIBA U19 World Championship
• Helped guide the U.S. to gold at the 2014 FIBA U17 World Championship with averages of 11.3 points and 3.1 rebounds
• Averaged 10.0 points and 4.6 rebounds per contest as the U.S. won the gold medal at the 2013 FIBA Americas U16 Championship
• Named to the 2013-14 USA Basketball Men's Developmental National Team

High School:
• Ranked as the No. 3 overall recruit in the 2016 high school class by ESPN and Rivals, as well as No. 4 overall by Scout and 247 Sports
• Named 2016 Gatorade Male Athlete of the Year, joining Greg Paulus (2005) as the two Duke players to win the award
• Named 2016 Gatorade National Player of the Year, becoming the second Duke player to earn the honor (Jabari Parker, 2012)
• A 2016 McDonald's All-American, scoring 18 points and grabbing five rebounds in the game
• Named to the 2016 Jordan Brand Classic, scoring 18 points and recording eight boards
• A finalist for the 2016 Naismith Boys High School Player of the Year award
• A first-team USA Today All-USA selection, Naismith Trophy All-American and MaxPreps All-American as a senior in 2016
• Earned inclusion on the Louisville Courier-Journal Super Five first team
• Named Gatorade Missouri Player of the Year and All-USA Missouri Player of the Year for the second consecutive season in 2016
• Averaged 29.5 points and 9.1 rebounds, posting six 40-point games, as a senior to lead Chaminade to the Missouri Class 5A state title
• Named to the 2015-16 All-USA Preseason Boys Basketball Team by USA Today prior to his senior season
• Averaged 26.5 points and 11.7 rebounds per game as a junior in 2015 earning second-team Naismith Trophy All-America honors and National Junior of the Year accolades from MaxPreps
• Earned his second consecutive Gatorade Missouri Player of the Year and was named the All-USA Missouri Player of the Year in 2015
• Averaged 26.0 points and 11.0 rebounds as a sophomore in 2014 to claim MaxPreps Co-National Sophomore of the Year honors
• Collected second-team MaxPreps Freshman All-America honors and was the first freshman in Metro Catholic Conference history to be named Player of the Year after averaging 13.3 points and 6.4 rebounds in 2013



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