The Boston Celtics had a incredible draft in 2017 with their first round selection of Jayson Tatum. Tatum was projected to be a star in the league, safe to say he has lived up to the hype. The Celtics the previous year, had drafted shooting guard Jaylen Brown who has transformed into a star as well. Looking into where they are now, they have made the playoffs but haven’t shown the ability to become a true NBA Final contender. Now it makes you wonder after three years: Is there enough there to build around?
This past season Jayson Tatum really put his talents on full display however, will he fall into the same category as Kevin Durant is the question? You are probably thinking ‘Kevin Durant does have a ring’, but look at what he did in the playoffs and the Nets still got eliminated, why? When you are able to put up 40 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists, it’s a great stat boosting performance, but you don’t make the people around you better. That’s why people have the ability to lose even when you put up those big numbers.
With that being said, and the play styles of KD and Tatum being similar, can the Celtics build around Tatum and make a championship team. With the right pieces around him, I think it’s possible, but you have to be careful about the pieces around him. Tatum is at his best running the point guard position with the ball in his hands however, he doesn’t facilitate like a guard only averaging 4.6 assists throughout last season. So what do the Celtics need to do in order to keep Tatum as their face of the franchise player?
Marcus Smart at the point guard position is exactly what they need, a solid defender, doesn’t need the ball in his hands and offers someone who can play off-ball. That play style complements Tatum extremely well, gives the Celtics a good counter-part to Tatum. As far as the shooting guard position goes, this is where is gets tricky. Tatum is a incredible talent, but his play style is very similar to the lesser Jaylen Brown. Brown is a ball-dominant scorer just like Tatum. Some teams have been proven that they can make that work, but with the exact same play style as Tatum. So eventually the decision will have to be made on rather or not they can continue to work well together or if they need to find a different styled shooting guard that better complements him.
Although, the Celtics have not been confirmed as a team interested in this player, one move that hasn’t been mentioned as a prime landing spot for Simmons could be the Celtics. Simmons isn’t much of a scorer due to his horrendous shooting, but that could actually fit well in the Celtics lineup. Simmons is a great defender, and has shown to be a playmaker. Being able to trade away Brown and add Simmons could be a win-win situation for both teams. Simmons could be a prime candidate for the Celtics as they look to create a winning organization.
The Celtics have a good foundation, but they are getting to the point in which they will truly have to decided rather or not Jayson Tatum is someone that their franchise can build around. Once they figure that out, and what needs to change in order to truly make a run, and at that point there will be some changes made to the Celtics I’d presume.