When the Boston Celtics drafted Jayson Tatum in 2017, little did they know that they were getting a player who would rewrite team history.
When the Boston Celtics come to mind, some of the first few players who most likely would be mentioned are Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, Bill Russell, Paul Pierce, and Kevin Garnett. Those are just a few all-time greats who had the privilege to wear Celtics green.
One current Celtics player who is following in the footsteps of the Celtics legends who came before him is Jayson Tatum, who became the youngest player in Celtics franchise history to score 10,000 career points placing him 15th on that list. This hard-working, gifted player is only 25 years old and is just now entering the prime of his career.
Tatum averages 1,426 total points per season over six seasons in the NBA, but during those six seasons, his total point production and scoring average increased exponentially. He is on a torrid scoring pace this season averaging 29.8 points per game, good for 6th overall in the league. The 2021-22 season is when Tatum really began to make that seismic shift and transcended into becoming the player he knew he had to become.
He led the Celtics to the NBA Finals that season, and even though he struggled in key moments during that series, it has molded him into the superstar we see budding before our very eyes.
Jayson Tatum has continued to evolve as a player
Since then, Tatum has improved and has only gotten better as he has been attacking the paint more than before and his midrange game has been unstoppable. It also appears that Tatum has been working on his post moves during the offseason as well.
The Celtics have decent size at every position and they have been taking advantage of any size-related mismatches on the offensive end. With other legit threats on the floor like Jaylen Brown, Kristaps Porzingis, and Jrue Holiday, it opens up the floor for Tatum to match up one-on-one in isolation which is a battle that he is going to win the majority of the time.
By allowing Tatum to post up, it diversifies the offense and gets him different looks causing opposing coaches to make adjustments and alter their game plan. Tatum is also a threat to light it up from downtown which greatly attributed to him reaching this milestone so quickly.
The ultimate goal for Tatum is to add to the Celtics collection of Larry O’Brien trophies but he could very well end up holding numerous Celtics records if he is able to remain healthy and continue to put up similar numbers.
Tatum could break John Havlicek’s record of 26,395 points if he is able to score at least 2,100 points for the next eight seasons in which would be season number 14 for him. Tatum is also currently 19th on the Celtics all-time list for total rebounds. While he has a realistic shot at finishing his career in the top 5, it’s unlikely that Tatum or anyone else will catch Bill Russell’s franchise mark of 21,620.
Tatum is currently 23rd on the Celtics’ all-time assists list and he could end up in the top 10 by the time his career winds down. He also could etch his name on the Celtics all-time steals list as well as he ranks 15th and could move into the top 10 by the beginning or the middle of next season.
It is absolutely astounding what Tatum has accomplished during his seven seasons in Boston. As he is given his flowers for this latest milestone, we can look forward to watching his journey as an all-time great for one of the most iconic franchises in all of sports.