Where does budding superstar, Jayson Tatum, fit with Celtics next season?
Take a look at Jayson Tatum's rookie stats and then watch his video highlights. You come away with the same impression. He can shoot the lights out from anywhere, and he is heading to super-stardom.
In the tweets below his post-season numbers are compared to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Kobe Bryant, Tony Parker and Magic Johnson. His play is often compared to former Celtic, Paul Pierce, and there are certainly close similarities there. Paul was often Boston's go-to scorer when critical points were needed, and this happened even after the arrival of Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett.
The Truth was tricky as hell with his dribbling and moves to the hoop. He drove even Lebron James crazy in The King's early years. Jayson has transitioned from smooth offensive moves which can be quickly learned by defenders to more of the herky-jerky style of Paul.
Notes on Tatum's postseason...
Came up 1 point short of Kareem's rookie total point record, but played 9 more games than KAJ
10th rookie to play 400+ playoff minutes and score 18+ per 36
Youngest on that list by 18 months (Donovan Mitchell)
2nd highest TS% on that list (Kareem)
But Jayson's shots are still silky smooth and accurate. He has developed a Dirk Nowitsky-like one-legged fall-away that is difficult to defend. When under pressure and the clock winding down, he always seems to get a good shot off. That will serve him well going forward. He will definitely be one of the Celtics go-to guys down the stretch in close games. Boston will have a number of players capable of making clutch shots.
So where does this budding superstar fit starting this coming season? He still doesn't have the ball-handling skills for time at point guard, and his size and strength would not work for most match-ups at center - at least for now. That could change on both counts.
With Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward back from injuries, there may be a bit of a minutes-crunch. Good for the team but not so good for certain players. Jayson averaged roughly 30 minutes per game in the regular season, and he should see similar minutes this coming season.
Tatum is also top 5 in rebounds (83/4th), assists (52/5th), steals (23/1st), field goals (123/2nd), 3-pointers (23/1st) and free throws (82/3rd).
He most likely will remain a starter in both the regular season and playoffs. We hope to see further development in his ball-handling, strength and muscle mass after this summer. He will play shooting guard, small forward and power forward, but don't be surprised to see him at center for certain small-ball lineups. I see him listed at 6'8.25" with a 6'11" wingspan, but his wingspan seems a bit wider to me. I have come to disbelieve many of the measurements I see for NBA players. And if you focus on Jayson's shoulders, chest and upper back in the above photo, you may understand why I am optimistic about his physical potential. Super-stardom - here he comes!