Jayson Tatum is entering a pivotal season for a number of reasons.
NBA.com’s John Schuhmann on Wednesday named the Boston Celtics forward as the team’s “man on the spot” for the 2019-20 NBA season. Tatum will be expected to assume the mantle as Boston’s primary scoring option, and Schuhmann believes how well he improves on last season will determine his and the team’s immediate future.
“After a terrific rookie season in which he was having the offense run through him at the end of playoff games, Tatum failed to take a step forward in his second season,” Schuhmann writes. “In fact, he saw drops in both effective field goal percentage and true shooting percentage, not getting to the free-throw line as often as he did as a rookie. He scored just 0.63 points per possession on isolations, the worst mark among 51 players with 100+ isolation possessions last season. The former No. 3 pick is still just 21 years old, but he’ll be up for a contract extension next summer and a breakout season — with less settling for jump-shots and better playmaking — would raise the ceiling of his whole team.”
Tatum worked doggedly in the offseason to improve his scoring efficiency, and his development has drawn praise this week from Celtics head coach Brad Stevens and president of basketball operations Danny Ainge.
Should Tatum deliver on his immense promise and take that great leap forward this season, the Celtics just might overachieve and subsequently reward with his first big NBA payday.
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