Most expect Jayson Tatum to enjoy a charmed life in Year 3 of his professional basketball career.
NBA general managers voted the Boston Celtics forward the second-most likely player to enjoy a “breakout season” in 2019-20, according to results of a survey of leading basketball executives NBA.com published Thursday.
Tatum garnered 11 percent of the GMs’ votes, tied with Memphis Grizzlies power forward Jaren Jackson Jr. for second place and trailing only Sacramento Kings point guard De’Aaron Fox, who won the survey question with 19 percent of the votes.
Despite failing to make the predicted jump to superstardom in his second NBA season, Tatum, the third overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, proved in 2018-19 his fine rookie campaign was no fluke.
The myriad of Celtics offseason roster changes suggest Tatum is set to assume a greater role in the offense, and he has worked diligently in recent months to improve his scoring efficiency, with his ongoing development drawing praise from Celtics head coach Brad Stevens and president of basketball operations Danny Ainge.
Although the Celtics reportedly exercised Tatum’s fourth-year option this week, 2019-20 will remain a pivotal season for him because he’ll be eligible to sign a lucrative contract extension during the 2020 offseason.
Perhaps a new-look Celtics team, Tatum’s evolving game and the potential for financial rewards next summer are as good of reasons as any to agree with NBA GMs in predicting he’s ready to make a huge Year 3 jump.