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Jayson Tatum Reveals He Didn’t Want to Join Boston Celtics in 2017 Draft Night

Four-time NBA All-Star Jayson Tatum, widely recognized as one of the league’s premier talents today, held doubts about his abilities when he was drafted by the Boston Celtics in 2017.

At that time, he didn’t believe he was “good enough” to be part of a lineup that included Gordon Hayward, Isaiah Thomas, Jaylen Brown, and Marcus Smart.

“I didn’t even want to come [to Boston] because I didn’t think I was going to play. [Boston] had Gordon [Hayward], [Jaylen Brown], Isaiah Thomas, [& Marcus] Smart, I didn’t think I was good enough to be on that team.” – Jayson Tatum told reporters

Tatum, selected as the third overall pick by the Celtics in the 2017 draft from Duke, was initially hesitant about joining the team.

The Philadelphia 76ers and Los Angeles Lakers had passed on him with the first and second overall picks, selecting Markelle Fultz and Lonzo Ball, respectively.

In retrospect, Tatum has proven to be a superior player compared to both Fultz and Ball, as well as many others from the 2017 draft class.

Over the years, Tatum has demonstrated consistent improvement since his rookie season in 2017-18.

His 2022-23 campaign was a standout year, where he averaged 30.1 points, 8.8 rebounds, and 4.6 assists per game in 74 appearances.

At the age of 25, Tatum began the 2023-24 season with remarkable statistics, averaging 29.8 points, 9.3 rebounds, and 4.0 assists in four games while shooting at an impressive 56.3% from the field and 40.6% from three-point range.

It’s somewhat amusing to think that he once questioned his ability to play alongside Hayward, Thomas, Brown, and Smart, considering he has now outshone each of them and continues to etch his name in Celtics history.

In his seventh season, Jayson Tatum is determined to pursue an elusive NBA championship, and the Celtics are on a promising path towards securing their first title since 2008.

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