Jayson Tatum will do whatever the Celtics needs him to do, but they need him to be in their starting lineup.
Second-year player Jayson Tatum is fortunate to be on a championship-contending team and with the Boston Celtics poised to make a run to the NBA Finals next year, he’s willing to do whatever it takes to win.
Even if that means relinquishing his spot in the starting lineup and coming off the bench.
In 2018, the Celtics pushed LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers to seven games in the Eastern Conference Finals – all on Tatum’s shoulders while Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward recovered from injury. The rookie averaged 18.5 points per game in the playoffs.
But Boston’s starting lineup will look a little different this season with Irving and Hayward back.
"“I understand how deep our team is,” Tatum said, according to Boston.com. “I just care about winning and doing what I can while I’m on the floor.”"
It’s good that Tatum is willing to make those sacrifices for the team, but coming off the bench isn’t something he’ll have to worry about. He will be a member of Boston’s starting five in 2018-19 and there’s no question about it.
The Celtics drafted Tatum with the third overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft because he has the potential to become one of the best players in the world. He’s the kind of player general managers want to build championship teams around.
You could say he’s a superstar in the making, but the fact of the matter is, he’s already achieved superstar status in the league. Hayward’s injury last year opened up a doorway for Tatum to get a lot more playing time than he initially would have.
Because of it, he grew tremendously as a player during his rookie season.
Now, even with Hayward and Irving back on the court, Tatum will be a central piece of the team Celtics fans hope will make it to the Finals, and they need him to be in their starting lineup.
The 20-year-old has a good head on his shoulders, but he can rest assured that he won’t be coming off the bench any time soon.