Much of the NBA Draft focus this season has been on a pair of guards in UCLA’s Lonzo Ball and Washignton’s Markelle Fultz. However, there are a couple of other players looking to be in that top pick conversation and one of the more intriguing is Duke forward Jayson Tatum.
Though he was injured at the beginning of the season, Tatum really came into his own down the stretch of the season. With Duke being upset in the NCAA Tournament by South Carolina over the weekend, Tatum has officially announced that he will be entering the draft. Duke made the announcement on their official Twitter page:
— Duke Basketball (@DukeMBB) March 22, 2017
Tatum is currently rated as the fourth best prospect by Draft Express and eighth by ESPN’s Chad Ford. He is one of the best pure scorers in college basketball and really excelled from the mid-range and inside.
In fact, becoming more consistent from outside is the one of the things Tatum wants to work on while getting ready for the NBA according to Evan Daniels of Scout.com:
“Going to the next level there’s so much you have to work on physically,” Tatum said. Phycically, everything, extending my shot and being more consistent.”
Tatum has an NBA-ready body and very few people have doubts about his ability to score at the next level. There have been some questions about what else he will bring, however.
He has the tools to be a great defender, but doesn’t always lock in on that end of the floor. Additionally, there are some serious concerns about his ability to create for others consistently. He had some games where he flashed his passing ability, but not enough to ease all concerns.
Nonetheless, Tatum remains one of the best forward prospects in this draft class, right there with Kansas’ Josh Jackson and Florida State’s Jonathan Isaac. If the Lakers find themselves with the third overall pick, Tatum will definitely get serious consideration.