Lottery odds: 19.9 percent
Draft status: In with an agent
The Phoenix Suns have a big need at the wing position, so having Duke’s Jayson Tatum fall into their laps at No. 5 makes this an easy selection. Tatum would being the Suns some much needed offense and he has the potential to develop into a strong wing creator.
Tatum’s best offense comes in isolation. He’s a beast in the mid-post where his face up game allows him to draw fouls or drain mid-range jumpers. The obvious fear here is that mid-range jumpers aren’t the most efficient offense. Tatum needs to expand his game out to the 3-point line more consistently, something his high free throw percentage suggests he’s capable of. Much of Tatum’s upside, though, will be tied up in his willingness to become a creator. He was a solid pick-and-roll ball-handler this season, but needs to become more of a facilitator in order to avoid falling into an isolation trap that makes it difficult for offenses to function at a high level.
Defensively, Tatum has the lower body strength to play the power forward spot and is switchable, but he’s not an elite defender by any means. He has slower feet and struggles to move laterally, so expect more out of him on offense than on this end.
Learn more about Jayson Tatum at The Step Back.