Celtics’ Jayson Tatum admits he considered skipping 2017 Draft to return to Duke
Boston Celtics All-Star forward Jayson Tatum was an absolute superstar during his time with Duke. Although short-lived, he did still have a memorable career with the Blue Devils, even being named as a ACC All-Freshman team member in his one and only season with the team.
Tatum recently admitted, though, that he did seriously consider going back for his sophomore year before eventually deciding to enter himself to the NBA Draft.
Couldn’t have imagined staying 4 years… but I really thought about going back for my sophomore of college
— Jayson Tatum (@jaytatum0) March 26, 2020
Things would have been much different for the Celtics if Tatum opted to stay in college for one more year, as they probably wouldn’t have had the chance to draft a player who is now emerging as their cornerstone superstar of the future.
The fact that Duke had an early exit in the NCAA Tournament during Tatum’s single year in college — a disappointing second-round loss to South Carolina — probably also played a role in his decision. Perhaps Tatum felt that he had some unfinished business with Duke and wanted to prove himself for another year.
The Celtics sure are thankful that Tatum decided to go pro in 2017. For the record, Josh Jackson (now with the Memphis Grizzlies), De’Aaron Fox of the Sacramento Kings, and Orlando Magic’s Jonathan Isaac were the three players selected after Tatum in 2017. These guys do seem to have promising careers ahead of them, but it just feels like Tatum still remains to be the gem among this bunch.
This season, Tatum has averaged 23.6 points, 7.1 rebounds, 2.9 assists, 1.4 steals, 0.9 blocks, and 2.8 triples per game on a 39.8-percent clip.