Jayson Tatum Had ‘No Clue’ Celtics Were Drafting Him With No. 3 Pick

by abournenesn

Jun 22, 2017

BROOKLYN — ┬áDanny Ainge had everyone guessing on draft night. Including the guy he ended up selecting.

The Boston Celtics took Duke forward Jayson Tatum with the No. 3 overall pick Thursday at the 2017 NBA Draft. Tatum certainly was on the Celtics’ radar leading up to the draft, as it was reported that Ainge and Co. were flip-flopping between taking him and Kansas guard Josh Jackson.

But while Markelle Fultz and Lonzo Ball knew their destinations beforehand, Tatum didn’t find out he was a Celtic until literally seconds before NBA commissioner Adam Silver’s announcement.

“I had no clue,” Tatum told reporters in a press conference after greeting Silver at the podium. “The only indication I had was right before (Silver) called my name, all the cameras came to my table. So, I was like, this is a pretty good sign.”

Tatum admitted he hadn’t spoken with Ainge or head coach Brad Stevens since he worked out with the team in Boston last week. It’s safe to say he was excited about the news, though — especially as he strolled past none other than Jackson on his way to meet Silver.

“Oh, man, it was the best feeling I’ve ever had in my young life — and I’m only 19,” Tatum said. “It was the moment I’ve always been dreaming about and waiting for. It was as special as I could have imagined, and that much more.”

The versatile swingman is the second No. 3 pick to join the Celtics in as many years after Boston took Jaylen Brown third overall in 2016. Tatum revealed he knows the 20-year-old Brown from playing in AAU camps together. But more importantly, the Duke product is ready to get started with a team fresh off a run to the NBA’s Eastern Conference finals.

“I think that I get to learn that much more, especially from a veteran team that knows what it takes to get there,” Tatum added. “I can’t wait to go and learn from Coach Stevens and Isaiah Thomas, and just everybody on that roster.”

Thumbnail photo via Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports Images

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