Who is Jayson Tatum? Scouting report, bio, analysis of NBA draft prospect

Jayson Tatum is among the most promising prospects in the 2017 NBA draft class.
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Jayson Tatum is among the most promising prospects in the 2017 NBA draft class. 

Tatum played one season at Duke, where the forward averaged 16.8 points, 7.3 rebounds and 2.1 assists in 33.3 minutes per game. 

Duke has had a player picked in the top three each of the last three years: Brandon Ingram (No. 2, 2016), Jahlil Okafor (No. 3, 2015) and Jabari Parker (No. 2, 2014). That streak continued when the Boston Celtics took him at No. 3 overall.

Learn more about Jayson Tatum below.

Scouting report

Bio: A scorer through and through, Tatum made his name as a prep star by putting the ball in the basket with the best of them and showed some growth in his lone season at Duke. He came on strong over the course of the season, helping lead Duke to an ACC tournament title and cementing his place near the top of the draft. He’s a likely top-five selection.

Strengths: Tatum possesses one of the most NBA-ready skill sets in the draft, with some comfort scoring at all levels. He’s able to create space for himself and make difficult shots when necessary, a necessity for most elite scorers in the league. He has the size to in theory play both forward positions, and the length to be a passable defender with some added work. He’s quick enough to attack bigger defenders and big enough to post up smaller ones. Tatum is also a solid rebounder. He enters the league with a solid offensive repertoire and has the potential to lead a team in scoring one day.

Weaknesses: Although Tatum’s skill set is impressive, he’s not an athlete of the highest tier, which makes it tougher to draw a direct through-line to NBA success. Tatum can fall in love with his mid-range shot at times and occasionally will take a tough look when he doesn’t need to. He’s developing as a passer but isn’t a playmaker with the ball in his hands, and if he doesn’t work on defense, it’s hard to see how he’ll impact the game when he isn’t shooting the ball. Tatum will have to expand his game or risk being branded a one-dimensional scoring specialist.

- Jeremy Woo

Grade: A-

Boston felt good about the decision to move down to 3, opted not to add to a crowded backcourt and saw Tatum as a better fit than Josh Jackson here. He’s one of the draft’s most talented offensive players and should add a necessary dimension to its frontcourt in time. The Celtics may have bigger designs this summer and could potentially move this pick, but if they keep Tatum, they should still feel good. He has a chance to end up the best scorer in this class when it’s all said and done. - Jeremy Woo

Fast facts about Jayson Tatum

Birthday: March 3, 1998

Position: Forward

Height: 6'8"

Weight: 205 lbs. 

Hometown: St. Louis, Mo. 

High school: Chaminade College Preparatory School