Over the next few weeks, Prime Time Sports Talk will be discussing the six rookies on the Boston Celtics roster this year. This will happen by looking at their careers before they took the leap into the NBA, and brief projections for the future. There are a lot of rookies on the squad this year, so first up is the Celtics’ first selection.
Jayson Tatum was picked by the Celtics with the third overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft.
His high school and college careers were incredible, which resulted in him being one of the top picks in the draft. According to Sports Illustrated, Tatum averaged 26.1 points, 10.7 rebounds and 3.4 assists during his junior year at Chaminade College Prep. According to USA Today, he took his team to the State Championship, and scored 40 points in a 72-59 title game win. He was rated as a 5-star recruit by ESPN, who ranked him as the third best player in the nation before he committed to play for coach Mike Krzyzewski at Duke.
While playing for the Blue Devils, Tatum adjusted quickly to the next level. In his first game, he pumped in 10 points in limited time and then went on to net 22 over 29 minutes against Florida. He ended the season averaging 18.8 points, 7.3 rebounds and 2.1 assists. Duke ended their season with a loss in the Round of 32 against eventual Final Four team South Carolina.
The Celtics traded away the first overall pick for the third overall pick, which was a future pick. ESPN reported the Celtics hinted toward wanting Tatum all along, whom they consider to be a premier scoring talent. Many analysts have Tatum in serious contention for the Rookie of the Year award, and on track to be a perennial All-Star. Only time will tell what Tatum’s career will be like, but this rookie has had a promising career leading up to this point.