Boston Celtics rising star Jayson Tatum took the league by storm last season, as his productivity and postseason display made him arguably the best rookie from his draft class.
The third overall pick flourished under the mentorship of head coach Brad Stevens, who had the utmost faith in the rookie, trusting him with the ball in his hands in late game situations. With injuries to both Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving throughout the course of last campaign, Tatum saw increased playing time that fast-tracked his development.
As his season was ended at the hands of LeBron James and company in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals, the 20-year-old has wasted no time getting back into the practice facility in the hopes of being even greater for this upcoming season.
He has worked out with legendary scorer Kobe Bryant recently, who he idolized growing up, and Bryant was just one of many former and current players to sing praises for the Duke product.
Along with his basketball ability, Tatum would greatly benefit with time in the weight room as transforming his body will only help his progression.
Head coach Brad Stevens echoed those sentiments on the Yahoo Sports NBA podcast recently.
“Being able to play lower, longer requires a significant deal of core strength for any player, certainly for a younger player with size. That’s really been our emphasis, to continue to focus on the core strength of things.”
If you think the six-foot-eight forward is already good, imagine when he turns his 205-pound frame into something physically dominant. He already has the skill, but with a physical and durable body, his ceiling is scarily impressive.
With Tatum’s size and length, he also has the platform to develop into a very good defender. With that and a solid post game down low, he will have the complete arsenal to be an unstoppable force in the NBA.
Tatum averaged 13.9 points and five rebounds per game last season, but look for that to increase with all the hard work he’s putting in this offseason.