Celtics notebook: Josh Jackson's canceled meeting miffs Danny Ainge
- Author: Julie Sanders Jun 25, 2017,
Jun 25, 2017, 17:06
Rumors are swirling that Boston may be sending Tatum to the Indiana Pacers in a deal for Paul George but for the time being Tatum is the newest member of the Celtics.
The Winston-Salem, N.C., native had one double-double on the year - a 10-point, 12-rebound effort against Georgia Tech on January 4 - and scored a season-high 12 points against Boston College on January 7.
Maybe it did change the Celtics' minds, pushing them to take Tatum instead. "The two guys that went ahead of me, they're great players, but I'm glad at how it worked out, so I'm happy", Tatum said of Fultz and Lonzo Ball. "He not only fits with the way we want to play but who we want to be". He finished with 1,343 points which puts him 16th on Miami's all-time scoring list.
Beal spent previous year at Duke, where he averaged 16.8 points and 7.3 rebounds as a freshman for the Blue Devils.
"The feeling is everything I wished for and more", Tatum said.
"LeBron James, he's the difference", the 19-year-old St. Louis native said.
The Chaminade product was selected third overall by the Boston Celtics on Thursday night.
Tatum, most likely tired and jet-lagged through a non-stop draft night, still smiled his way through the press conference Friday and said all of the right things.
Tatum might be known for his offensive talents but said that, during his meeting with Celtics coach Brad Stevens, they talked a lot about his defensive versatility. "I think that I get to learn that much more, especially from a veteran team that knows what it takes to get there".
It was just this past week, with the Celtics wanting a look at Jackson before the draft, that C's president Danny Ainge and coach Brad Stevens boarded a plane from Boston to Sacramento.
UNC big man Tony Bradley capped the banner first round for the ACC as he was selected by the Los Angeles Lakers and quickly traded to Utah.
Although Tatum will be the latest addition to the Duke family in the National Basketball Association, the freshman credited the people around him Thursday night with getting him to this point.
In one season at NC State, Smith averaged 18.1 points and 6.2 assists per game. "I'm excited to play for the greatest franchise in the National Basketball Association", he said.
"It's risky to play too much into a 19-year-old kid's behavior", Ainge told CSN's A. Sherrod Blakely and Kyle Draper on Friday. "That's a good thing".
"I think he's a great player on the next level", ESPN's Jay Bilas, a former Duke forward, said Thursday on ESPN's Mike & Mike. The Celtics can't give a rookie wing an unbelievable amount of iso opportunities and expect to win. Heck, the No. 1 seed in the East had the No. 1 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, before they traded it for...more assets. "Flew across country, are you kidding me?"