Jayson Tatum is an offensively gifted small forward out of Duke who is a projected top 5 pick. Coming out of high school as the number four recruit in the nation, Tatum lived up to expectations in his first year at Duke. He posted freshman averages of 16.8 points and 7.3 rebounds per-game (DraftExpress). At 19 years old, Tatum’s potential is off the roof. With very little weaknesses, he is the perfect player to become a bona fide star once reaching the NBA. In his mock draft, HN’s James Cragg has Tatum going third to the Boston Celtics.
Tatum is a fluid and smooth player with the ball. He can easily slip by defenders and use his height to get into a scoring position and hit a jumper. While Tatum isn’t a flashy ball handler, he is capable of putting the moves on a player with his ability. Using these skills in isolation, he is able to find a way to get a shot up consistently and can score at will. His isolation game is skilled, refined, and easily the best in the draft.
Major mismatch but Jayson Tatum is a mid-post killer. Has had some nice ISO moments tonight inside of 15 feet. pic.twitter.com/lyuSoPQ5Q6
— Mike Schmitz (@Mike_Schmitz) December 7, 2016
Tatum’s rebounding game also is a big plus. As a small forward capable of grabbing over 7 rebounds per game for Duke, Tatum could be a huge boost to teams like the Celtics who are in need of a rebounder.
Even though Tatum is skilled with the ball, he doesn’t contain the athletic prowess that some players such as Josh Jackson have. He sometimes has difficulty matching up with more athletic defenders and can find himself beaten on the defensive end against these players.
Jayson Tatum is much like another isolation scorer: Carmelo Anthony. If Tatum can continue to play at the same level he did in college, he should be able to reach Melo’s level of talent and show the world what he has to offer. Tatum and Anthony are both offensively skilled players who are comfortable handling the ball and know how to find the bottom of the basket. If Tatum can refine his athleticism and defense, he is poised to reach Carmelo’s level and become a super star for whichever team drafts him.