Forever, Jayson Tatum will be judged against Markelle Fultz. That's not necessarily fair to either player, but it's the reality of the situation after the Boston Celtics traded the No. 1 overall pick -- and the right to select Fultz -- for the third pick where they landed Tatum on Thursday night. The Celtics also acquired a future first-round pick in the swap, but, whatever happens with that selection, it's clear Tatum and Fultz will be linked throughout their careers. For the time being, Tatum is focused on building some extra muscle. Listing all the weaknesses he hopes to work on before his first NBA season, Tatum issued a reminder that everybody taken near the top of this draft has a long way to go. It's easy to overreact to Boston's trade, to wonder if the team screwed up by passing on Fultz -- to try judging the swap immediately, instead of years from now, when the truth will finally begin to emerge. But these two guys are teenagers. They could both become stars or fall shy of their potential. While there's a lot to like about Fultz, the Celtics appreciate plenty about Tatum's game, too. "I think the biggest thing is that we really like Jayson," head coach Brad Stevens said after the pick. "We think Jayson can play a variety of positions with a variety of guys. I think that, in this kind of position-less league, those guys are really valuable." Since joining Boston four years ago, Stevens has stressed the value of positional versatility. Tatum stands 6-foot-8, played a lot of power forward in college, and has enough skills and athleticism to slide over to small forward in the NBA. Next to him, the Celtics already have Jae Crowder and Jaylen Brown, and could still chase other top wings, including free agent Gordon Hayward and trade target Paul George. Yes, maybe there's some overlap there, but have you seen the best NBA teams? They turn to tall, lengthy dudes with guard skills all over the court. The Celtics kept that in mind when taking Tatum at 3, Semi Ojeleye at 37, Kadeem Allen at 53, and Jabari Bird at 57.
Celtics GM Danny Ainge on Jayson Tatum: 'We would have picked him with first pick'
Mass Live | Jun 23