#3 - Jayson Tatum - Boston Celtics

Doug Mendoza
June 26, 2017

Ainge didn't seem to be bothered with Jackson's disinterest with the Celtics, but the team's president of basketball operations wasn't too thrilled with flying across the country for nothing.

I went to a big fireworks display in Boston last night, and the NBA Draft broke out. "He's going to be a terrific player". They clinched the Eastern Conference with a record of 53-29, ahead of the Cleveland Cavaliers by two games. "As a rookie I can come in and do my work, learn from the guys in the locker room".

Did the Boston Celtics make the right selection when they drafted Duke forward Jayson Tatum with the No. 3 pick overall in the 2017 NBA Draft? At 6-foot-8, 205 pounds and with a 7-foot wingspan, Tatum averaged 16.8 points, 7.3 rebounds and 2.1 assists in 33.3 minutes on the floor. "I'm going to take this opportunity and run with it".

It was the second straight year the Celtics have chosen third overall. "He's not a great shooter but he can make shots", said Bilas. "One was just because of ignorance because I didn't really know how to fix that situation that I was in when I got into that fender bender and then the other one was just bad judgment".

Celtics general manager Danny Ainge felt comfortable dealing the No. 1 pick knowing he could still land a quality wing - either Tatum or Jackson at No. 3.

He turned out to be correct. "I had to get up at 4 o'clock and fly back home", Ainge told NESN.

"I talked about that with coach [Brad] Stevens and he said guys at my size and my position and are able to hit open shots and defend the one through the four, it's hard not to play those guys so that's how he looks at using me if they were to draft me", Tatum said. And so, I'm just the kind of like 'get things done, ' kind of person, so I didn't like to burden other people with my son.

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Three days after working out in Boston, Duke's Jayson Tatum was picked by the Celtics at No. 3 in the NBA Draft at Barclays Center on Thursday.

Tatum said he stayed in contact with Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski throughout the draft process, and it was Coach K who encouraged him to take the Celtics up on their last-minute invitation. They could've invested in the future by taking a player with a higher ceiling, like Josh Jackson or Jonathan Isaac, but they are committed to the present iteration of the team. I was all for it.

Boston also brought in No. 1 pick Fultz, but drafting the Washington product would have likely meant a move from point guard to shooting guard, with an All-Star in Thomas already on the roster. "They canceled a workout on us when we flew out to Sacramento, and they just made a decision to cancel it as we flew - just Brad [Stevens] and I and [assistant GM] Mike Zarren flew cross-country". Ainge said he was upset about the last-minute cancellation, but that they didn't hold it against him.

It made Tatum not the compromise, but the best fit for a team that's still in position be a big player in free agency this summer. "But I think that he's a guy that we thought really highly of from Day 1".

"Right now he's just messing with things", the source said of Jackson.

The previous three GNPOY winners - Ben Simmons, Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins - all ended up being selected No. 1 overall in their respective NBA Draft classes.

Other reports by GizPress

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