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

Not A Celtic.

By Tom Mahoney

Tatum is an interesting offensive prospect. He uses the up fake nicely. A little straight linish for me. Not super a explosive athlete. Very nice leaper. Terrific driving right, and double pumping and putting it in. He can get himself in awkward positions, and still twist to put the ball in the hoop. He can handle the ball well enough to attack the press sometimes. He seems to shot better as the game goes on. He can make the clutch jumper in the closing two minutes. 

Another guy with size to play PF but plays like a SF. Terrific aggressive lefty dribble to the basket. He can be a little passive on the O-bound. He can get aggressive low, and take the ball off the floor. He has 3-point range. If he grows a little more he might be able to play some stretch-4 in small ball. He can attack the hole righty, cause the bump, and draw the foul as he shots. Great job extending his arm straight out away from the defender and hooking it in. 

He has some explosion off the floor leaping backwards on the fall away. "He’s a great player. He’s phenomenal," his teammates Giles said. "That’s what he does. He gets the ball, Coach lets him rock out, get in that space, and that’s all he needs." He can hit that fall away over bigger stronger guys.

I like Isaac more than Tatum, but it seems GMs across the NBA are split on which is better. "We probably have Tatum a little ahead," a western exec said. "He's got prototypical size, length and strength. For a 19-year-old, he’s got an unbelievably good body. He looks like an NBA vet. He scores the ball so easily. He’s the best shooter of the three. He does need to get better defensively. He’s able to do both of those things, score from all ranges. The question is, can he combine all of that, be a three-level scorer? From what I’ve seen he has a chance to do all three, even though he hasn’t done it consistently." Both are talented kids, who still have a kids game.

I liked Isaac more so I was kinder with his childish plays. I was not so kind with Tatum. "I like him a lot," another western exec said. "The game is natural to him. Can score and make plays for others. I am a fan. He will be a very good pro." Tatum did flash some greatness last season. Plus, he got better as the season went on. 

He did step up in the Tournament, when he was the furthest away from the high school game. "25 points and six rebounds against Louisville in the ACC Tournament quarterfinals," Aldridge wrote. "24 points and seven rebounds against North Carolina in the semis." I see him more as an athletic Power Forward than a SF.

He uses the up fake nicely. A little straight linish for me. Not super explosive athlete. Very nice leaper. Terrific driving right, and double pumping and putting it in. He can get himself in awkward positions, and still twist to put the ball in the hoop. He can handle the ball well enough to attack the press sometimes. He seems to shot better as the game goes on. He can make the clutch jumper in the closing two minutes. 

He likes to attack with the lefty dribble, but almost always draws it back to his right to shoot. "I think I’d lead towards Tatum, with a caveat," a personnel guy said. "I think Tatum could help you today. You could put him in for 20 minutes and he’d do just fine. Isaac could take some time. But he’s got real, real length and size to be special special. The safe choice would be Tatum. The flyer would be Isaac." He almost exclusively two-dribble lefty (that is his signature move, two-dribble lefty into the midrange jumper;).

Another guy with size to play PF but plays like a SF. Terrific aggressive lefty dribble to the basket. He can be a little passive on the O-bound. He can get aggressive low, and take the ball off the floor. He has 3-point range. I think he can play some stretch-4 in small ball, maybe even right away. He can attack the hole righty, cause the bump, and draw the foul as he shots. Great job extending his arm straight out away from the defender and hooking it in. 

Does not play good defense. He does not play with good laterally quicks on defense against smaller guys. "I think Tatum’s better than he showed this year," an eastern scout said. "Duke struggled a lot this year. I think he was a victim of that. He makes buckets. He’s a challenged east-west as a defender. But, offense is the currency of our game. I think he’ll score. He’s got a hundred ways to score. He can make buckets and he can make passes." He cannot cover NBA Wings. He is not a small forward. 

I do not think he is a good enough defender yet. But he does cover in the Paint better, which is why have trouble seeing him as more than a stretch four. Inconsistent in all aspects of the game, especially defense. Can sometimes look like he has no defensive instincts (but then again don't we all;). He can't play defense out in space. When he has to go out to the 3-point line, Wings just dribble right past him righty sometimes, like he is a pothole (I fear what NBA Wings will do to this kid on defense;). 

He can move his feet on defense when he wants too. He can hold position, moving laterally towards the hoop with his left hand up, when he wants too. He cannot run with college wings on defense. How is he going to run with NBA wings on defense? I think he is a better post defender right now. But NBA PFs will beat the crap out of him as a rookie. He still has a lot pf physical and mental growing to do. 

Doesn't play in balance on defense. To often doesn't play with the aggression he shows on offense. "Jayson has a chance to be a special player in the NBA," Krzyzewski said. "He was that at Duke for one year. He's a kid that can go in and be a starter anywhere in the NBA. His game translates to the NBA maybe as well or better than anybody in the draft." Doesn't always have good eyes on defense, and loses him man standing four feet away from him. 

He can up fake at the 3-point line, and then split the double with a two-dribble to his left, but he has to come back to his right off the second dribble. He cannot score lefty. He has to go back to his right when he drives left to scoop it up into the defender. I don't like that.

The best thing he does on offense is post up, which again speaks to his being a Power Forward, and not a Wing. I don't think he can burst past NBA SF off the dribble, like he did college PF. He does a nice job with subtle head fakes to get the defender to jump and then one dribble to the side and pull up. Not sure how much he likes to play in the Post.

He has 3-point range for the corner Three. He can hit the college Three straight out, and on both angles. He can one dribble to the left, and pull up for the Three. That is a nice move for a Four. He was best as a stretch-4 at Duke. 

He played in a very confining offence that has not translated well to the NBA. He tends to be a blackhole when he gets the ball. He takes so long to shoot the ball sometimes. Jab-step, jab-step, jab-step, two-dribble left, Jumper. He likes to take a one dribble to his left and pull up. He reminds me of a bigger slower Carmelo Anthony (And you all know I think Anthony is the most anti-team basketball NBA player I have ever seen). 

Tatum was a very good not great player at Duke. "I’ve been in 21 Final Four games," Krzyzewski said. "That’s a lot of big games. You don’t get there without these guys. But you have to have these guys, give them the freedom to be themselves. Jayson is still learning how to do that." He does have some quicks and hops attacking the hoop off the dribble. He has some slick moves in traffic in the paint. 

He has 3-point range. But he is a straight up and down jumper shooter. He doesn't shoot well on the move. He holds onto the all too long before he makes his move. He is long strider, and not really a twitchy athlete. He shows some suddenness in his shoulders sometimes (I saw it once, it might have a mirage;). He has a nice first step to either shoulder off the dribble. He has a nice burst to the right off the dribble to the hoop. He beat guys consistently with a quick burst to the left.

He has a nice slow fall away from 15 and in. He can look a little McHale like with it in the Post. He is a good kick out passer in the post. He was not a Wing at Duke, where most people seem to think he will play in the NBA. He was a PF. He has some nice wide shoulders, which will allow him to put on weight and play some stretch-4. He already has gain 10-pound since he arrived at Duke, and maybe more after the season. 

He looks like he can play PF in the new run and gun stretch it out NBA. Very nice weapon on the break. He is a very good size speed athlete, I'm just not enamored with his basketball smarts (but he is still such a kid). He shows some nice aggression going for the O-rebound from the high post. He can go up and grabs the rebound, and then bring the ball up court. But he tends to keep it and doesn't like to pass. 

Tatum Vs UNC:

He does have some smooth wing skills (:26). That was a terrible pick. That is the type of you set when you want the ball (:31). He is a blackhole in the post. So at least he has something in common with McHale (:37). He can be a great offensive weapon, but he doesn't like to pass (:44). Like Isaac, he will be not a true NBA player until he understands that he has to pass more, and how to pass to make his teammates better. I think going coast to coast is the least impressive act on the basketball court. It shows a kids understanding of this beautiful team game.

He likes to attack left. That was the best two-dribble drive left I saw him make. That is not easy to do for a 6-8 PF (:31). He will hustle on the Boards and has good instincts in the offensive glass (1:09). He has to pull away from the basket to post (1:18). Then the play of the game. The defender flashes, and he flips a great pass over to the SG for an easy three. That is the exact play he has to do more consistently. 

He has the range in the Corner to be a catch and shot Stretch Four. He has some softness in his jumper when he uses his wrist (1:32). Good! He set a great pick for his teammate to try and help him out, and he drew the late whistle on the pick (1:45). He does a nice job attacking the entry pass, as the big Big tried to hop over his shoulder (1:59). Two dribbles with his left, and then the fall away. He is as predictable as a dog chasing a squirrel up a tree ("Where'd he go! Where'd he go?). But NBA squirrels will take his pet move away.

He's too far outside for the two dribble left and the shot, right? WOW! Five dribbles lefty, a little dipsy-do dribble with the left hand, and then the kick out pass. Color me impressed. I never saw him more than two-dribble to the left. That was the first thing I saw him do that actually looked like Pierce (2:11). He got the rebound, and ran past his open teammate, without even glancing at him, to go end to end, and all the joy in Mudville is dead (2:26). He has such a kids game sometimes. That is the problem with some of these one and done kids. They are such kids on the court, who physical talents are astounding. It is all mental with this kid. He has a ton of gifts physically, he just has to mature his game and brain.

Good. Three dribble lefty curling down the lane into the thunder dunk. That is a great athletic play (2:57). Good. He is very good with the up fakes. Then the two dribble lefty. But he kicks it to the corner instead of blackholing it. Which means there is some hope for him (3:23). Good. He set a nice off the ball pick. So he showed he learned some team play at Duke (3:23). And watch what happens. The two defenders cover the shooter, and leave him uncovered under the hoop. Yay. Team basketball is a dunking good time.

He hustle around for the ball underneath the half court press. He smartly doesn't attack the hoop and works the clock. Which forces Duke to foul him to end the game (3:55). There's a lot there to like. He is going to need a lot of time and maturity to become a smart NBA player. He should become a good player. But I don't see him as a top three player on a contending team. He is still more like a Melo than a Pierce (and that is not a compliment;). But, apparently Captain Underpants loves him. So please Danny trade for Butler.

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Tatum Vs UNC Tournament: 



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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