Boston Celtics: SI calls Jayson Tatum ‘most likely to succeed’ NBA rookie

LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 09: Jayson Tatum
LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 09: Jayson Tatum /

Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum was called the NBA rookie “most likely to succeed” in Sports Illustrated’s NBA rookie yearbook superlatives. 

Let the accolades continue for Boston Celtics rookie forward Jayson Tatum.  The 6-foot-8 forward out of Duke was recently called “most likely to succeed” amongst all NBA rookies by SI.

Following a more than impressive Summer League performance, the No. 3 overall pick in the 2017 NBA draft has drawn comparisons to players such as Celtics great Paul Pierce and current Thunder star Paul George.

While those type of comparisons are both premature and unfair for a player just entering the league, early prognosis is the Celtics were wise in their selection.

Boston Celtics
LAS VEGAS, NV – JULY 09: Jayson Tatum /

With a nice mid-range shot and the ability to score from all angles of the court, Tatum’s game already appears more polished than most rookies.  Along with his size and maturity, SI views Tatum’s versatility as the driving point for his success in the NBA.

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Here is what SI’s Deantae Prince had to say:

"“There are players with glitzier games and bigger shoe contracts, but few are more versatile than Jayson Tatum, who flashed the full range of his talents at Summer League. He’s been called Paul George Lite before, but the comparison feels more apt now. Obviously that projection hinges on how he develops. In Boston, though, he will have the luxury of being brought along slowly. Celtics president Danny Ainge coveted Tatum so much that one has to believe his future in Boston will be a bright one.”"

The fact that he will be brought along slowly is a reason he more than likely won’t be NBA Rookie of the Year.  That projection went to Philadelphia 76ers rookie Markelle Fultz.

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I can agree here.  Not because Fultz will be a better NBA player than Tatum when all said and done, but because of their situations.

Why not rookie of the year?

Jayson Tatum is entering the league on a team that reached the Eastern Conference Finals.  Surrounded by players like Isaiah Thomas, Gordon Hayward and Al Horford, Tatum will learn from an array of veterans.  He also has the opportunity to develop while experiencing how it feels to win.

Fultz, on the other hand, is on a team filled with young prospects.  He will have an opportunity to show what he can do from the first blow of the whistle.  While Lonzo Ball could easily take home the award, Fultz’s ability to score should give him the advantage.

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All in all, the Boston Celtics have the player who will best fit their system in the long run.  He could take a couple of years, but I believe Tatum will prove that Danny Ainge made the right choice in trading the No. 1 overall pick to select him at No. 3.

So, there is no disagreement with this superlative.