The Boston Celtics dominated the headlines in the lead up to the 2017 NBA Draft. After swapping picks with the Sixers, the Celtics big week culminated in the team selecting Jayson Tatum third overall in the 2017 NBA Draft.
Danny Ainge and the Celtics front office were said to be very high on the 19-year-old's level of talent, which does not make this pick much of a surprise. Many analysts believe Tatum has the potential to be a bonafide star.
In his lone season at Duke, Tatum was able to meet and even succeed the high expectations that were thrust upon him. During his time at Duke, Tatum averaged 16.8 points and 7.3 rebounds per. Boston’s newest rookie also shot consistently over 30% from beyond the arc in the NCAA. Jayson Tatum’s three-point shooting ability makes him an instant favorite to be the Celtics new go-to shooter. There is some concern over his ability to get to the rim against NBA-caliber players, however, with the passing abilities of Isaiah Thomas along with Marcus Smart, he should have no problem getting open for mid-range and three-point shots.
Perhaps almost as valuable as his playing abilities is Tatum's off-court character. In interviews this past week, the 19-year-old stated his desire to start a program called “The Single Mothers Program.” Growing up, Jason lived in a single-parent home and stated that:
"Because I grew up in a single parent home with my mom, growing up things weren't always the best. And just to be a blessing to some parent with a child and they're working and just to have a house to live in and a roof over your head and free utilities. I think someone would be very grateful."
Even in what is likely the busiest time of his life, the young man is thinking about things beyond basketball, which is extremely admirable. Jayson Tatum’s willingness, as well as desire to help others are qualities in a man that any organization would be lucky to have.