Blame AAU basketball, blame the one-and-done generation, blame whatever you want, but what cannot be argued is that there is an international wave taking over the NBA. Increasingly it seems like the best and most influential players in the NBA are from countries and regions outside of the U.S.
Far-Fetched Friday: Jayson Tatum Will be a Top-10 Player by the End of the Season
By: Ryan Stein
Welcome back to Far Fetched Friday, where every Friday we give you a bold prediction that we believe will come to fruition. This week, we give you our prediction about the future of Jayson Tatum.
When the Boston Celtics traded the number 1 overall pick in the 2017 NBA draft in exchange for the number 3 pick and a future first rounder, there were many people covering the NBA that questioned why they would pass up on a "surefire star" in Markelle Fultz. The young guard was considered the clear-cut best player in the draft, and a trade like that was risky considering the Celtics were in need of another star to get over the hump in the East. Jayson Tatum, the player they ended up drafting with that number 3 pick, has more than validated Boston's decision to pull the trigger on 2017 trade. In fact, by the end of the 2019-2020 season, it will be commonplace for Jayson Tatum to be included in lists of top-10 players in the NBA.
Tatum has enjoyed a breakout season in his third year, after having a down year last season due largely to chemistry issues with the Celtics. In his past 18 games, Tatum is boasting averages of 28.4PPG, 7.2 RPG, 2.9APG, 1.3SPG, 1.1BPG, 54.6%FG, 47.2%3PT, and 77.1%FT. Those are some monster numbers, combined with incredible efficiency. If you were to just use those numbers, there would be no doubt that he is a top-10 player already. However, you have to take in account his entire season up to this point, and he did struggle with his shooting percentages in the first few months.
Tatum has not just been beating up on scrubs. He's been dominating against some of the league's best teams, including the Lakers, Clippers, Jazz, Thunder, and 76ers to name a few. Still only 21 years old, the young Celtic has already given plenty of reason to believe he will be a perennial MVP candidate. There is no fear of the spotlight with Tatum, and he will show out in a big way come playoff time. When the season is finished, there will be no doubt that Jayson Tatum is the second-best player in the Eastern Conference and a top-10 player in the Association.
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