Tracy McGrady says Tatum has Durant potential

Jayson Tatum and Kevin Durant

Tracy McGrady was a match-up nightmare in his NBA heyday, a 6-foot-8 wing with the skills of a guard and the ability to get a shot off against anyone. He was not unlike Jayson Tatum, who is currently starring for the Boston Celtics in the NBA Finals at just 24 years old.

McGrady, though, sees another NBA legend as a model for how good Tatum can be; Kevin Durant.

"I think he can be really good. We’re talking K.D. status," McGrady told NBC Sports Washington. "I think the kid has the potential to be that good. He’s already showing glimpses of that in his young NBA career. I think he has the ability to win multiple championships, be an MVP of the NBA. I think he has that ability."

Tatum's Celtics knocked Durant's Nets out of the playoffs in the first round to begin their run to the Finals. They are now tied at 1-1 in their series against the Warriors, having lost Game 2 on Sunday night.

McGrady caught up with NBC Sports Washington last week to discuss his new venture, the Ones Basketball League, a nationwide 1-on-1 league that held its most recent event in the D.C. area over the weekend. McGrady offered some opinions about the NBA today, including how Giannis Antetokounmpo is the best player in the league and, as good as Tatum is, Luka Doncic is the best young player in the game.


As for Stephen Curry, whom Tatum is playing against in the NBA Finals right now, McGrady seems to think his legacy would be helped quite a bit if he wins another ring given the circumstances of his other three titles.

"That's a tough question," McGrady said when asked where Curry ranks all-time. "Because he has his career individually and with what he's accomplished with his team is tough. Because you’ve gotta think, he won a championship, right, against LeBron [James] that didn't have Kyrie [Irving], that didn't have Kevin Love. He didn't win the [Finals] MVP, right? Then he loses a 3-1 lead to LeBron, gets K.D., K.D. comes and wins two championships, so that gives Steph three championship but K.D. wins the two MVPs, right?

"We know Steph is like the 3-point God. But when it comes to putting him with [Michael Jordan] and these guys that won that level of championships; Kobe [Bryant] and Magic Johnson, I don't know where to rank him. I know he's pretty high. But I think those guys are in a different class than Steph Curry based off of [all of that]. They're on championship teams. K.D. came and joined the Warriors and became the best player and helped Steph win two more championships. But Steph wasn't the best player on that team."

If the Warriors win this year, Curry would get a fourth championship, he would be the best player on the team and it wouldn't come against a team diminished by injuries, barring something unforeseen. If Tatum wins, he will get his first championship at a very young age. Curry was 27 when he got his first ring. James was 27, while Jordan and Durant were both 28.

Whether it's Curry or Tatum, one of them is going to help their legacy significantly in McGrady's view.