Danny Ainge Doesn’t Think Jayson Tatum Will Have A Chance To Win Rookie of Year

Photo Credit: John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe

Danny Ainge Doesn’t Think Jayson Tatum Will Have A Chance To Win Rookie of Year

 

Before this year’s NBA Draft, the Boston Celtics traded away their No. 1 pick,  knowing that their pick, Jayson Tatum, would still be available for their (then) No.3 pick.

The 19-year-old—out of Duke University—showed off his offensive prowess during his lone season as a Blue Devil, averaging 16.8 points and 7.3 rebounds per game while knocking down 45.2% of his shots. As proven in the 2017 NBA Summer League, Tatum has the ability to knock down the three-ball, utilize an impressive post fadeaway, as well as drive to the rim with ease. During the 2017 NBA Summer League event in Utah, Tatum averaged 18.7 points, 9.7 rebounds, 2.3 steals, and 2.0 assists in nearly 33 minutes of action. Meanwhile, out in the Las Vegas, Tatum provided similar results by averaging 17.7 points, 8.0 rebounds, 1.0 assists, and 0.8 blocks in nearly 32 minutes of action for the three games he was allowed to play there. Tatum is ready to earn some effective minutes as a rookie.

But will the minutes be enough to be in the picture for the rookie of the year award?

The answer is ‘no’, at least if we listen to Danny Ainge who told the Boston Globe:

 

“I think Terry [Rozier] and Marcus [Smart] are really ready to step up,” Ainge said. “And Jayson and Jaylen we can be a little bit more patient with, but they are going to play an important role.”

“We’ll see what minutes [Tatum] will earn. I’m not worried about how they will play when the lights go on. It will be unlikely that Jayson is Rookie of the Year because it will probably come from a team that starts their rookies and plays them 35 minutes per night.”

 

Knowing the Celtics’ depth chart, we already know that he most likely is right about that. Other prospects like Lonzo Ball, Dennis Smith Jr, De’Aaron Fox, Bogdan Bogdanovic, Josh Jackson, Milos Teodosic and even Lauri Markkanen will average more minutes and immediately have an important role on their respective teams.

But, knowing the Celtics, it proabaly is the best way to improve his talents to not put too much pressure on him right away, just like they did with Jaylen Brown last year, who averaged 17 minutes per game.

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