Writer Crowns Celtics’ Jayson Tatum ‘Best Player’ Of His NBA Draft Class

The Celtics landed a gem three years ago


Here are some results that are more or less official.

NBA.com’s Sekou Smith named Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum the best player of his NBA Draft class Tuesday. Boston selected Tatum with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, and he since has blossomed into an NBA superstar and perhaps the face the Celtics franchise.

” … Danny Ainge had it right all along,” Smith wrote in a column on the best players from the last 20 drafts. “Tatum was his man in a strange 2017 draft that didn’t provide a consensus top pick going into the process. Tatum’s an elite scorer and perimeter player whose size and versatility make him an impossible cover when he?s in rhythm. He?s also shown himself to be a prime-time player in the postseason when the pressure ramps up to its highest level.”

It’s worth remembering the Celtics originally won the 2017 NBA Draft Lottery but traded the No. 1 overall pick to the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for the No. 3 pick and favorably-protected rights to a future pick. Philadelphia swung and missed by taking Markelle Fultz first overall. Boston got its man in Tatum.

Other contenders for Tatum’s title as “best player” of his draft class include the Sacramento Kings’ De’Aaron Fox, Utah Jazz’s Donovan Mitchell and Miami Heat’s Bam Adebayo.

Smith also shouts out a pair of Tatum’s teammates as contenders in their respective draft classes: Jaylen Brown in 2016 (Philadelphia’s Ben Simmons won) and Gordon Hayward in 2010 (Los Angeles Lakers’ Paul George).

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