Celtics

Four years later, Tatum draft pick paying off huge for Celtics

Celtics

The Boston Celtics rolled the dice entering the 2017 NBA Draft and the gamble continues to pay massive dividends for the historic franchise.

The C's won the No. 1 pick in the draft lottery but traded it to the Philadelphia 76ers for the No. 3 pick and a future first-rounder that became No. 14 in 2019 (Romeo Langford). 

The Celtics wanted Jayson Tatum, and the Duke star fell to them at No. 3 after the Sixers took Markelle Fultz at No. 1 and the Los Angeles Lakers selected Lonzo Ball at No. 2.

Report: Tatum to play for Team USA in Tokyo Olympics

Here's a look at the moment Tatum was drafted by the Celtics, which happened four years ago today (June 22, 2017).

Tatum has proven to be the best player in the entire 2017 draft.

He's been named an All-Star in each of the last two seasons, including the 2020-21 campaign after scoring a career-high 26.4 points per game. He also was named to the All-NBA third team in 2019-20 and should've been selected again this season.

Tatum has all the makings of a top 10 player. The challenge for the Celtics over the next few years is surrounding Tatum and fellow All-Star (and No. 3 pick in 2016) Jaylen Brown with enough talent to reach the NBA Finals. Tatum has helped lead the C's to the Eastern Conference Finals in two of his four pro seasons, but Boston has come up a little short in each series.