Boston Celtics: Al Horford marvels at the future of Jayson Tatum

BOSTON, MA - NOVEMBER 16: Jayson Tatum
BOSTON, MA - NOVEMBER 16: Jayson Tatum /

Boston Celtics veteran big man Al Horford continues to praise rookie Jayson Tatum and marvels at what he will become in a couple years.

You think Jayson Tatum looks and plays mature now, wait till you see the Boston Celtics rookie in two years according to Al Horford.

The 11-year big man took some time to reflect on all the young talent in the NBA on Wednesday.  As the team prepares to take on Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid and the Philadelphia 76ers, Horford talked about the “scary” talent currently taking the reins in the NBA.  A level of talent he says he has not seen before in his long career.

"“I’ve been fortunate – this is my 11th season – but the amount of talented players in this league today is scary,” Horford said, via  “The league is in a great place, and the younger guys who are coming in are stepping up at a high level.  Hard to believe when you look at them – oh, he’s 22? 21?.”"

Try just 19 years old.

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After praising the “special” talent currently on the 76ers, Horford recognized the young talent he gets to play with on a daily basis, especially No. 3 overall pick Tatum, who has stepped in and stepped up for the Boston Celtics following the loss of Gordon Hayward.

"“We have Tatum at 19, and wait ‘til you see him in two years,” Horford added.  “He’s way ahead of the game.  We weren’t expecting this from him.  It gets you excited when you think about it.”"

So far this season, Jayson Tatum is averaging 13.9 points, 5.5 rebounds and is shooting 49.2 percent from the field, including an impressive 47.6 percent from the three-point stripe.  While the offense has been there, especially in the fourth quarter, Tatum impresses with his defensive effort.

The rookie has done his part in contributing to the team’s overall defensive rating, which is tops in the league.  His length and maturity allows for him to block shots, defend and rebound at such a level that makes him an important player to have on the court down the stretch.

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So young and still growing physically and mentally, Tatum’s ceiling definitely provides much excitement.  Not only does Al Horford see it, so does the entire NBA.