Report: Celtics ‘leaning [Jayson] Tatum’ with No. 3 pick
When the Celtics traded away the No. 1 pick in Thursday’s upcoming NBA draft, it became clear that upper management did not view Markelle Fultz as the transformative, franchise-altering talent that many had pegged him to be. The debate for the past week has now centered around whom the Celtics are targeting with their newly acquired third pick.
Reporting has suggested that the selection would likely come down to Duke forward Jayson Tatum and Kansas forward Josh Jackson, and it appears the C’s are one step closer to making a decision.
According to ESPN insider Chad Ford, the team is still debating but “appear to be leaning Tatum.” Ford also noted that the team has received Jackson’s medical records, but he will still not work out with the team.
Reports emerged yesterday that Jackson was unwilling to workout with Boston unless they committed to the 6-foot-8 swingman. Though Ainge has previously said he would not have a problem drafting a player that didn’t work out with the team, recent developments suggest they may be leaning in another direction.
Tatum, who has drawn Paul Pierce comparisons, is a gifted scorer whose offensive game appears more NBA-ready than Jackson and other prospects projected to go near the top of the draft. The former Blue Devil averaged 16.8 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.3 steals per game in his lone collegiate season, and has the skillset to step in and contribute quality minutes right away.
Is it plausible that Ainge and Celtics brass are simply more comfortable with Tatum because they’ve seen him for a workout? Though this could certainly be a factor, it’s unlikely to be the tipping point in their decision-making process. One thing is definitive, and that is the Celtics feel confident they’ll get their guy at three.
“There’s a good chance the player we take at No. 3 will be the exact player we would have taken at No. 1,” Ainge said in a conference call on Monday. “We’re still able to get the player we want in the draft and acquire another asset.”
Full article @ Report: Celtics ‘leaning [Jayson] Tatum’ with No. 3 pick
Source: GreenStreet Blog