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

Jason Tatum: Part I Reality.

By Tom Mahoney

The Problem that I have with Tatum is that he isn't a defensive player. He is a sky high player. He has a great ability to block a shot a game. But doesn't get low and steal the ball. If he wants to play on the Wing, he is going to have to get low and wide on defense against smaller guys, like George does. 

But he does have a lot to like. "We liked his size and length and rebounding and shooting" Ainge said. "[Tatum is tops in] Intelligence (and) character. There's a lot to like about Jayson. He's going to be a terrific player." Character and intelligence are the two most important aspects of this pick. 

Because he has the physical talent to play in the NBA. "I think that he's a guy that we thought really highly of from Day 1, and I know Danny has (for a while). When I kind of got reintegrated into this process, right after the season was over, he was one of the guys that it was clear that we were targeting." Stevens said "I think the biggest thing is that we really like Jayson. We think Jayson can play a variety of positions with a variety of guys. I think that, in this kind of position-less league, those guys are really valuable." He has the offensive versatility to be a heck of a player.

But it is still all potential, and all mental and work ethic. "He's got to get better on both ends of the court and that's (key) for any young guy," Stevens said. "We said this about Jaylen last year. It just takes time to be as good as you want to be." They didn't draft him for who he is now.

They drafted him for what he could be when he is 23, 24, or 25 years old. "I think that he's a guy that we thought really highly of from Day 1," Stevens said. "And I know Danny has. When I kind of got reintegrated into this process, right after the season was over, he was one of the guys that it was clear that we were targeting." So character, work ethic, and smarts is everything with these young prospects.

The problem with all this it that we don't know who these 19-year olds will be when they are 25. "It’s dangerous to play too much into a 19-year-old kid’s behavior," Ainge said. "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." Which is why character is so important.

Who will work the hardest? Who will work the hardest on defense? And learning to play defense in the NBA? None of these kids knows anything about playing defense in the NBA. None of them is certainly ready to play defense in the NBA. Tatum is significantly less ready to play defense in the NBA than Brown was last year, and Jackson is this year. Tatum has great off the court character, certainly better than Jackson's (especially after the con he pulled on the Celtics;). However, it is gym character, practice character, and on the court character that is going to make and break these guys as well. 

He is not going to play as many minutes as Brown got last year. He is not near as good a defender as Brown was last year. He has to prove he has Brown's smart and work ethic (which I'm not sure I'm buying). So all these expectations of playing time this season are ludicrous. He not only struggled to move laterally on D, he sometimes looked disinterested in playing D last season. He often looked like Carmelo Anthony on defense (please take nothing I say about Carmelo as a compliment;). I saw nothing on the court that said he could cover smaller and quicker guys. This idea is fantasy.

But the thing that often matters most long term with young talent in the NBA is the ability to create offense. "That’s one of Jayson’s great strengths: his ability to create shots," Ainge said. "We think he can create: off the ball coming, off of screens, (and) his shooting. We can give him the ball, as well, and he can create shots for himself and his teammates. We need him to work on his left hand a little bit, but other than that, I think he’s got a pretty good array of moves already coming into the league." But it is defense that earns them playing time on winning teams. 

If Brown got less than 15 minutes a game last season because of his defense, Tatum will be lucky to get half that. "He has the ability to put the ball on the floor and make his own shot," Maxwell said. "A lot of times, guys cannot do that. One thing that happens with a younger player is they’re dependent on the point guard. In this situation, he’s good enough to create his own shot." Again, no one mentions his defense when saying why he should play. 

So do not expect him to play as much as Brown did as a rookie. "[Coach K] called me and talked about how Boston wanted me to come up there for a workout, and he was just ranting about how great of a person Brad Stevens is," Tatum said. "And that Coach K would love the opportunity if they would pick me. And he really wanted me to go up there and work out for them. I was all for it. It worked out. I had a great time up there on my visit and obviously they enjoyed me." He just joined a winning team in the Lottery, and not a losing team trying to rebuild reality.

He will be lucky to get James Young minutes. Plus, after all that good and bad there is only the relevant. If they sign Hayward and trade for George? Tatum will get less minutes than Young got last season. Which doesn't make this Draft season a bust. It's like in the NFL Draft, fans forget that the Draft is about team building, not digging up a  pot o' gold. And in the NBA it is ten times more difficult for rookies to play. All the flashy dashy shiny young players don't amount to hill of beans when the season starts. 


The real big news is that the Celtics are finally in position to take advantage of Coach Stevens long time friendship with Gordon Hayward. "Take this for what it is: Hearing #Celtics in position to deal for George with 3-year extension in place," Kaufman tweeted. "But will depend on signing Hayward 1st. Lots-a dominos." This is one deal that not only sounds plausible, but is likely already done.

They are just waiting for the official start of the year on July 1st. When NBA free agent frenzy begins. Though they cannot be signed until July 6th for some reason. They can work out the deal with Hayward officially on July 1st verbally, and then we will know this is real. They have to do that deal first, to make George happy about coming to Boston. And they need to use pure Cap-Space in the Hayward deal. While they will be trading contracts (and picks) to the Pacers to cover George's Cap hit of 18.3-Mil. 

Then once Hayward's deal is done, George is ready to sign with the Celtics, and the Celtics will know what they have to do Cap-wise to get him. They don't have to cover the full 18.3-Mil. They only need to cover about 14.4-Mil. "Teams above the cap (or teams below the cap but would end up more than $100,000 over the cap following a trade) cannot acquire more than 125% plus $100,000 of the salary they trade away." So if you put Bradley and Crowder in the trade (the most likely combo) the Cap machine says the trade works. Which also opens up starting spots for Gordon (SG) and George (SF).

I'm not sure Zeller 8-mil contract and Crowder's' is what Indy is looking for. But according  They are in a pure rebuilding mold. However, Brown, Hayward, and George make Crowder expendable. Indy needs a PG. So maybe Rozier or Smart are what they are looking for. Adding Smart to Monta Ellis would at least give them a pair of NBA quality starting guards. But I don't like that deal. 

Most Celtics fans want to trade a bag of magic beans to the Pacers, which makes sense for One Year Wonder George. But, George with a 3-year extension might be a little more valuable than that. So Zeller and Olynyk would work and a lower 1st or two would help, if they sign Olynyk to the 7.7-Mil option. The Celtics have already ditched Jerebko, Young, and Green, and they likely will have to ditch Amir Johnson as well, to sign Hayward. Which seems like a done deal now.

"I think July is the busiest time of the year. So, yeah, we anticipate being very active and continuing to try to improve and improve our roster," Ainge said. "It’s a very active time. I mean, you’re just on the phone constantly talking with every team about all players, and it goes very fast. I think it both has its benefits to do it before, and it has its benefits to do it after. So it certainly hasn’t closed a window that we didn’t do it [already]. There’s still a window open for trade opportunities for us in July." 

However, there are more developments. "Boston has maneuvering to do with its roster, including the shedding of salaries to create space to position itself for this scenario," Wojnarowski wrote. "Boston has contingencies in place to make deals and start a possible Hayward-George scenario toward fruition, league sources told The Vertical." The Players and picks Indy wants are coming into view. 

Right now it looks names are starting to fall into place. "Indiana has been focused on trying to complete a deal with Boston for George, league sources told The Vertical," Wojnarowski wrote. "The sides were growing close to a deal on draft night, but a third-team scenario fell through late in the evening that stalled talks. Indiana is desirous of the young players and future draft picks that Boston is uniquely able to offer the Pacers for George." 

Names which including Crowder and Bradley, and the pick the Celts got for trading down with the Sixers, and the Memphis and/or Clippers' 1st. Although Smart and contract (likely Zeller) makes more sense than. Smart is younger, and his contract along with Crowder's does not reach the 14.4-Mil. They would need to Zeller's contract to get well past 14. Crowder and Smart put them about 5-Mil short (but, terrifyingly, Browns' contract is enough with those to guy. Which Danny would never do, and was not reported that way). Bradley and Crowder's contracts are enough to seal the deal Cap-wise.


That is enough of the meaningless Salary Cap Trade speculation (is there any bigger waste of time that that;). If Danny can free up the Cap Cash to sign Hayward, and then trade a couple of contracts (Zeller or Olynyk and Crowder, and the Lakers/Kings 1st) to the Pacers for George? That puts Tatum about 10th on the Wing depth chart, behind George, Hayward, Brown, Bradley (maybe;), Smart (maybe;), and Crowder (maybe;). George is still only 27 and a 4-time All-Star. I think he is a top ten player.

That is not a lot of minutes left for a defensively deficient rookie. "My favorite player right now would be Paul George," Tatum said. "That's somebody I look up to and that I enjoy watching play." Well I believe that he is going to be watching George from the bench a lot this season. 

That is just the reality of life in the NBA for teenagers. If teams wants to win they play veterans. If The Celtics have Isaiah and Bradley/Hayward starting at guard, Hayward/Brown at SF, George at SF/PF, and Horford in the frontcourt. It would leave them a little small (and maybe Blake Griffin would be a better rebounding option than Hayward;). But that is what the two teams in the finals look like. I'm very comfortable with George covering Tristan Thompson or Draymond Green in the Finals (yes, Eastern Conference and actual;). 

With the Cavs crazy ass owner tearing the team apart again, I'll take my chances on what the Cavs look like next year. They just ditched the GM that got LaBron back and built the roster that gave Cleveland their first Championship since Moses Cleveland (and yes, I had to google who founded Cleveland). "We are now at a point where the fit is not right for us to continue with one another," the Cavs ex-GM Griffin said about the maniac owner.

It didn't take long for the franchise to stick it the maniac as well. "If no one appreciated you Griff I did, and hopefully all the people of Cleveland!" James tweeted. "Thanks for what you did for the team for 3 years! We got us 1 (trophy)." So pardon me if I like our chances to get out of the East with George and Hayward.

The Celtics have to sign Hayward first, for Cap purposes. His contract has to be 100% off the Cap. "He’s an awesome player," Smart said about Hayward. "He’s a dude who understands the game really well. I think it’s because he had Brad as a coach. Nah, I’m kidding. He’s incredible. He’s a great player. He’s a great guy. And I think I speak for a lot of guys in this league when I say that." Than the trade for George will fall into place.

Then all Celtics fans will be dancing in the streets, or to drunk to dance. "First off, this fan-base is incredible," Smart said. "The energy that they give off every night, night in and night out, is remarkable. And then playing under Brad, who’s understanding the game more and more. He’s learning. And he’s becoming one of the greatest coaches in this league. You’ve just got to love the things that he’s doing. And I think that everybody in the league understands that. They appreciate the work he puts in, and they see everything he’s been doing and accomplishing." So everybody give your four-leaf shamrocks a little rub.

Tatum Vs FLA:

Okay, think positive. Tatum is a terrific talent with a ton of spunk and moxie (I'm nor homer;). I see him as more of a power forward in the small ball NBA (and when they sign Hayward and Gordon, "They'll be a bootleg version of the Warriors;). He likes to go left, but almost always has to draw it back into the defender and shot it righty (:26). Starts the set with a light pick, which led to the switch. Now he has the smaller guy he can beat up on (:43). He used the pick well to get the open Jumper, but then one dribbled into the defense. He would have been better off going right up with the shot. Instead of dribbling into the two defenders, and giving them a chance to defend the shot. His go-to move is the midrange jumper off off the lefty dribble.

His position in the NBA will be PF. He has the size, strength, and Vert to hang in the air, absorb the hit, adjust the angle of the shot, and make the layup (1:07). He gets down low, and cuts off the PF trying to get to the Boards, and sticks an elbow in his side, and traps him under the basket. One thing I like about him is that he has that knack for grabbing the rebound. Then he can turn and start the break (1:37). But then he dribbled through four guys in the Paint, with two shooters wide open at the 3-point line, like Carmelo with glue on his fingers. Selfish basketball.

He beats a lot of PFs with a fake right and strong dribble left. He got cut off by the doubling defender, and made the right pass for make-me-happy-assist. Thank you (2:01). He has a nice quick leap forward on defense to get his hand up in the shooting lane. But then he is alone on the left side of the basket, and shoots it righty (2:01). He does have a great burst of speed when he sees a lane in transition (2:28). He finishes this time on the right.

I like how well he attacks lefty. He has that knack for drawing fouls, and he is a very good free throw shooter who makes it hurt when they foul him (2:46). Nice feel defensively for rebounding position (2:55). He set a couple of nice picks to get the switch, and clear out his side. He hits his go-to shot with a little flair. Great shoulder fake to the right (3:11). Power forward's cannot help but react to a fake that strong. 

He set the pick to force the switch, not to give his teammate a lane. That is the shot that reminded me of McHale (3:26). He has some very nice suddenness in his shoulders on the offensive end (3:38). He is at his best in the Iso, which is not really what Stevens does on offense (3:51). Some good some bad. He has a longer way to go in the team game than Brown had coming out of Cal. But he clearly has some interesting positives on offense. 

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Tatum Vs FLA: 



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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