Jayson Tatum has become one of the best young players in the NBA with the Boston Celtics, but if he’d had his way initially, he wouldn’t even be with the organization.
Tatum was the third overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft. At the time, the Celtics were coming off a season that saw them finish first in the Eastern Conference. Tatum said he feared that going to Boston would be bad for his playing time and development given the Celtics already had an established core of good players.
Jayson Tatum, on the All The Smoke podcast, said he didn't initially want the Cs to draft him. They had just been the No. 1 team in the East. He didn't know whether he'd play a lot or have a chance to get buckets. He wanted to play in Phoenix instead.
Tatum: "It worked out."
— Jay King (@ByJayKing) May 11, 2020
The Celtics were never going to pass on Tatum. They were huge fans of him in the buildup to that draft.
As Tatum noted, the Celtics did right by him. He started 80 games as a rookie and has only gotten better since. This season, the 22-year-old is averaging 23.6 points and 7.1 rebounds per game and made his first All-Star appearance. It’s safe to say it all worked out for everyone involved.