Jayson Tatum’s phenomenal rookie season came when he was just 19 years old. Tatum didn’t have the option of entering the league out of high school like his idol, Kobe Bryant did. But the Boston Celtics’ rising star spoke with Jake Fischer of Sports Illustrated about the NBA rethinking the one-and-done rule.
Tatum was asked about how he views each side of the change. He said:
“I see both. Obviously, if one-and-done hadn’t been a thing, I would’ve went straight out of high school. But now that I know what I know, I probably would have still went to college and just a year of getting bigger and stronger and playing with talented guys against great competition. But I feel like if you’re ready, you should be able to go out of high school.”
It’s pretty clear that Tatum would have been alright if he made the jump straight out of high school. Perhaps he would not have had the same success in his rookie season, but he would not have been seriously overmatched.
It’s an interesting debate though. Some players are more than ready after their senior year of high school. Guys like LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Amar’e Stoudemire, and Kevin Garnett are all examples of this. But then again, some players could seriously benefit from taking a year to go to college. Guys like Sebastian Telfair, Kwame Brown, and Jonathan Bender come to mind.
The NBA has a lot to discuss as they change the rules surrounding when players can enter the NBA Draft.