NBA Draft Profile: Jayson Tatum

Jayson Tatum

6-8, 205 lbs.



STRENGTHS: At 6-8, 205, Tatum is a physical specimen; he’s got the most NBA-ready body in the draft. His game isn’t quite on that level yet, but he’s got the tools to develop into a terrific wing player. The 19-year-old is big and physical enough to earn minutes at the 4, and athletic, quick and skilled enough to play the 3.

Though he’ll spend more time in the pros on the wing, he’s capable in the post and has good footwork on the block. He’s also got a soft, reliable mid-range jumper and works to get that shot consistently. Tatum can extend to three-point range, and has a good-looking stroke although he only shot 34.2% from distance last year. He’s also an 85% free throw shooter, so (Hubie Brown voice) you know that the touch is there.

He’s still raw, but has a little bit of skill in a lot of different areas–which will serve him well in today’s game. He’s not a standout athlete but is quick and long enough (6-11 wingspan) to guard multiple positions, and could end up being a good defensive player.

Tatum averaged 16.8 points, 7.3 boards and 2.1 assists per game for Duke last season.

WEAKNESSES: Tatum is like a house with a great foundation–but Chip and Joanna Gaines haven’t added the overpriced stuff they found in their grandma’s basement yet. He doesn’t have any one skill that separates him, so the team that drafts him is betting that with reps, he’ll develop into a difference-maker offensively. He’s got what it takes to improve, but could use work on his handle and jump shot. He’s not the most explosive athlete, and could get caught in between on defense when trying to switch onto smaller, quicker guards or bodying someone up in the post.

BOTTOM LINE: He’s probably not the guy with the highest ceiling in this draft, but Tatum should end up being a solid NBA player for a long time. He’s got what it takes physically to compete, and if he can develop a difference-making skill (a knock-down three-pointer, lock-down defense, etc.), he’ll have plenty of success in the league. Look for him to land somewhere between 5 and 10, after the top guards are all gone.

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