Jayson Tatum understands what Celtics role will be if taken No. 3

Jayson Tatum understands what Celtics role will be if taken No. 3

BOSTON – Jayson Tatum has no promise that he’ll be the Boston Celtics’ pick at No. 3.

But the 6-foot-9 forward has a pretty good idea of where he would be used … everywhere it seems.

One of the first things he discussed with the Celtics during his workout with Boston was how he would fit in with their system.


“He (Celtics head coach Brad Stevens) said that guys my size, my position, I’m able to get open shots and defend the 1 (point guard) through the 4 (power forward), it’s hard not to play those guys,” Tatum told reporters on Wednesday. “That’s how he looks at using me if they were to draft me.”

And there’s no guarantee that will happen, although the fact that his stiffest competition for being Boston’s pick at No. 3, Josh Jackson, did not work out for the Celtics.

Jackson told reporters on Wednesday that he had spoken with Stevens and some of the team’s assistant coaches, but had yet to talk with president of basketball operations Danny Ainge – the man who will decide who the Celtics select at No. 3.

From the beginning of this draft process, Tatum was viewed as a top-6 player who isn’t projected to go any higher than No. 3 overall.

Teams love his versatility as a scorer as well as his basketball smarts which have helped him compensate for not being quite as explosive or as athletic as some other players in this draft but more than capable of potentially making a significant impact.

While Stevens’ comments are certainly encouraging words for a young prospect, that doesn’t change the fact that getting minutes as a rookie on a team that’s coming off a trip to the Conference finals with most of their core returning, won’t be easy.

“I feel you have that approach to whatever team takes you,” Tatum said. “Nothing is guaranteed. I feel like no matter who you play for, you have to earn your spot. It shouldn’t matter who picks you.”

But he acknowledges that going to a team like Boston where the challenge for minutes early on will be greater than it will be for most lottery picks, is something that has crossed his mind.

“I definitely thought about it,” Tatum said. “For me, I’m happy to be going into the NBA. I guess I’ll think about that more after I see what team I’m picked by.”

In his lone season at Duke, the 19-year-old Tatum averaged 16.8 points, 7.3 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.3 steals with 1.1 blocks per game.

NBCSB Breakfast pod: How Jayson Tatum compares to Paul Pierce

NBC Sports Illustration

NBCSB Breakfast pod: How Jayson Tatum compares to Paul Pierce

1:25 - With half of the Celtics roster on the shelf, we’ve been able to see just how great a scorer Jayson Tatum can be. A. Sherrod Blakely, Mike Girardi and Trenni Kusnierek discuss how Tatum compares to Celtics legend, Paul Pierce.

5:35 - The NFL Competition Committee is giving it their best shot at modifying the ‘catch rule’ and Tom Curran, Kyle Draper and Hardy try to wrap their heads around the proposed changes.

11:02 - The Bruins clinched a playoff berth despite losing to the St. Louis Blues in overtime. Joe Haggerty joins Tom Giles to break down the game, which included another goal by Ryan Donato and a questionable call on a high hit on David Krejci.

Report: Kyrie Irving to undergo knee exam Thursday


Report: Kyrie Irving to undergo knee exam Thursday

The second opinion on Kyrie Irving’s sore left knee will be done on Thursday, according to the Boston Herald's Steve Bulpett.

Irving, who has missed the last four games, is expected to decide between having a surgical procedure performed to help alleviate some of the soreness, or continue to manage it with rest.


During the 2015 NBA Finals, Irving suffered a fractured left kneecap injury which was the beginning of Irving’s left knee issues.

While Irving has had soreness of some form during various stretches of play this season, Celtics coach Brad Stevens has seen him making progress recently.

“That knee is still sore,” Stevens said. “He’s worked really hard to manage it throughout the entire season. He’s had some pretty good days recently. I’m encouraged by the big picture.”

But Stevens has made it clear that he supports Irving getting a second opinion, adding that Irving’s absence is due to the knee being too sore for him to play at a level he’s accustomed to.

“He’s out because of knee soreness, not because we’re choosing to rest him,” Stevens said. “That’s the bottom line. Again, we want him to feel 110 percent. He wants to feel 110 percent. Obviously, we’re fortunate we created a cushion early on in the year with playoffs and everything else. This is not one of those situations where we’re choosing to rest someone; it’s because he has a sore knee.”