You’re not going to find many holes in Jayson Tatum’s game.
Tatum, who’s in the midst of a breakout third NBA season, boasts a near-complete skill set. The 21-year-old already has established himself as a consistent 3-point shooter with an above-average mid-range game to go along with a fearlessness attacking the rim. And while defense was a perceived weakness of Tatum coming out Duke three years ago, he can more than hold his own on that end of the floor thanks in large to his length.
All of this considered, ESPN’s Zach Lowe seems to believe Tatum is only one facet away from becoming one of basketball’s best.
“He seems to like the big stage and always has since he was a rookie,” Lowe said Tuesday on “The Jump.” “He’s a really good defensive player, which I think people were slow to realize. He’s a really good defensive player. The next step for him is how good of a passer can he become? Can he become a five-assist, six-assist kind of guy? Because if he gets that, without sacrificing a lot of his scoring, then you have a super-duper-star.”
Tatum currently is averaging 2.9 assists per game this season. While that mark is nothing to write home about, it would serve as a career-high if sustained. Tatum has upped his assist numbers each season thus far, so at the very least, there’s documented steady improvement, which always is an encouraging sign when dealing with younger players.
That said, we can’t imagine Danny Ainge, Brad Stevens and Co. are dwelling on Tatum’s passing too much. The Celtics surely are more than pleased with Tatum’s development, and his rapid progression has some pundits projecting a deep playoff run for Boston this spring.