Jayson Tatum was the third overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft and was snapped up by the Boston Celtics. It's safe to say that the talented small forward has justified the draft capital spent on him so far.
Tatum has played a crucial role in all three Eastern Conference finals appearances the Boston Celtics have made since his debut. He has also managed to earn NBA All-Star honors twice in his relatively young career, apart from making the 2017-18 rookie team.
Tatum was rated as a five-star recruit and considered one of the best prospects in the 2016 class. He was ranked as the No.3 overall recruit behind Harry Giles and Josh Jackson.
Role with the Boston Celtics
Jayson Tatum has established himself as the number one scoring option for the Boston Celtics. Head coach Brad Stevens has given him the liberty to exercise his one-on-one moves in the paint and the perimeter, as the Missouri native is adept at creating shots for himself.
Tatum has gradually improved as a passer, with his assists per game rising every season. So far, he has played the role of a primary scorer with a hint of playmaking.
Season so far
Jayson Tatum was selected to play in the NBA All-Star Game for the second year in a row, reflecting how consistent he has been for the Celtics. He has put up 27 points, 7 rebounds, and 4 assists per game on a respectable 37.8% shooting from downtown. Averaging 1.4 steals per match, Tatus is ensuring he impacts the game on the defensive front too.
Jayson Tatum's aggressiveness has won multiple games for the Boston Celtics this year, and it is safe to say that he will continue to be the team's metronome for upcoming seasons.
Strengths and Weaknesses
Jayson Tatum's biggest strength since his NBA debut has been his incredible shot-making ability. His ball-handling has been impeccable as well, allowing him to get past bigger defenders.
Against smaller players, Tatum is excellent at using his frame to get to the rim and finish in the paint. Jayson Tatum's three-point shooting has been a huge asset, too, as the Duke product has made a healthy 39.6% of his attempts count from the deep in his career.
On the other hand, his biggest shortcoming has been his inconsistency. Jayson Tatum has faced multiple spells of poor form in his short career, which has directly impacted the Boston Celtics' performances. As the team's principal scorer, Tatum will have to be more reliable going forward.
Expectations from Jayson Tatum going forward
A self-professed Kobe Bryant fan, Jayson Tatum has shown signs of emulating the LA Lakers legend. He looks like a bonafide star who has the ability to lead the Boston Celtics to their 18th NBA championship - something they have waited for more than a decade.
Tatum has shown impressive nous for the game over the last few seasons, eliminating inefficient jumpers for more trips to the rim and three-pointers. He has also proved to be a difference-maker on both ends of the floor, and fans can expect him to be in the MVP race in the next few years.