Celtics take scorer Jayson Tatum with No. 3 pick in draft
Jun 26 2017 by Dustin Murphy
In all, an NBA-record 16 freshmen were drafted in the first round while only two seniors were taken in the first 30 picks. Ojeleye, who transferred to SMU after not getting enough minutes at Duke, was a great perimeter scorer and won the AAC Player of the Year last season, averaging 19 points and nearly 7 rebounds during his junior season. He attacked the glass (7.4 rebounds), set up teammates (3.0 assists) and proved to be a versatile defender (1.7 steals, 1.1 blocks).
"I'm definitely less naive and more experienced than I was a year ago".
After missing his first eight games at Duke with a foot injury, Tatum gradually improved as the season progressed and wound up on the all-rookie team as well as being named to the All-ACC third team. Although he averaged under 10 points per game as a sophomore, his toughness can not be overlooked.
The Celtics were rumored to be chasing Butler in recent seasons, especially during last year's draft and again at February's trade deadline.
Late in the title game against Notre Dame, Tatum put together a sequence of plays that speaks to why the Celtics were seriously considering taking him with the number one overall pick had they not been able to trade it for the No. 3 and a future first-round pick. When the Celtics settled in with the No. 3 pick, Jackson was back in play, and he said Wednesday the weekend trade made it a "little too late" to adjust his schedule and fly to Boston for a workout.
Tatum, the son of CBC coach Justin Tatum, said he feels fortunate to be joining a contender immediately.
"It's an incredible feeling", Tatum said on ESPN. "I can't wait to go and learn from Coach Stevens and Isaiah Thomas and just everybody on that roster". Tatum also provides some rotation flexibility, with the ability to play both forward spots and defend as many as four positions. Thankfully the Celtics seem like they are hoping to keep Tatum, and turn him into the star others believe he can be. "He really wanted me to go up there and work out for them, and I was all for it". The cancellation could not have happened at a worse time, as Ainge and Celtics head coach Brad Stevens were already in flight on their way across the country to see Jackson in Sacramento. "He don't think nobody can beat him out, and a lot of teams, I think, noticed that throughout his workouts and figured out how athletic he was and how skilled he was". He shot 45 percent from the floor and 85 percent from the free throw line in 33.3 minutes per game. "He's going to be a terrific player".
"Most of these young players are not ready to make an impact in important National Basketball Association games", said Fraschilla. I look at my stats and I see my numbers didn't lie.
"I think July is the busiest time of the year", Ainge said. "I think if I become a bigger, or a stronger player physically, it will help me". The pieces fell into place when the Sixers took Washington guardMarkelle Fultz and the Lakers spent the No. 2 pick on UCLA guardLonzo Ball.
Ball, expected to be selected No. 2 to the Los Angeles Lakers, wore an all-black suit - as did his father, LaVar, who sat with his family at a table near the stage.