NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSBoston) tweeted out a debate that has since been deleted, but not before stirring massive controversy among Boston Celtics fans. The tweet was: “If you had to get rid of one, who would you get rid of: Jayson Tatum or Jaylen Brown?” Any true Celtics fan immediately tweeted back showing their anger towards the twitter page. Celtics fans are extremely loyal, and will back their players no matter what. When someone goes after two great young players, backlash is guaranteed to occur.
Boston’s New Debate: Jayson Tatum or Jaylen Brown?
While it is a loaded question that should not be answered, it is an extremely interesting one. Jaylen Brown, the 3rd overall pick in the NBA draft, and Jayson Tatum, the 3rd overall pick in the 2017 NBA draft, are two amazing young prospects with a lot of potential. They each have their own jobs to do on the court, but what if you had to pick just one to keep?
Jaylen Brown, the 21-year-old wing from the University of California, Berkeley, is extremely versatile. In his rookie season, he only played about 17 minutes a game, averaging 7 points and 3 rebounds a game. Now in his sophomore season, he has made the jump to starter. He plays 32 minutes per game, averaging 15 points, 6 rebounds, 1 assist, and 1 steal. He is shooting an impressive 46% from the field as well. The first thing that any Celtics fan will tell you about Brown is his athleticism. Check out his recruiting mix-tape! He is extremely versatile, and he has the ability to go one-on-one with the majority of defenders in the league.
Standing at 6’6, he is able to defend most guys in the league as well. He has an extremely high potential, and could become a superstar within a few years if he continues to get the playing time and experience that he is getting now (due to Hayward’s injury). The biggest downfall I see about Brown is his ability to stay consistent. Some nights, the man is unstoppable and will score an abundance of points. If you take a look at his stats per game, you will find that some nights he can put up 20 plus points with ease, while other nights he struggles to get 10. This makes some Celtics fans question if he will be able to improve over the long run, or if he will continue to play with such inconsistency.
Jayson Tatum, the 19-year-old wing from Duke seems to be unstoppable thus far. The Celtics drafted Tatum after trading down from the first overall pick to the third with Philadelphia. Many Celtics fans were worried that the Celtics missed out on a potential super star in Markelle Fultz, but after seeing Tatum play, the worries went away fast. The 6’8 forward has only played 11 games in the NBA so far, but he is making himself known. Originally compared to Celtics legend Paul Pierce, Tatum is one of the most versatile players in the league. As one in-game announcer once said, he isn’t perfect at any one thing, but he is good at absolutely everything. He is putting up veteran numbers in his rookie season, playing 32 minutes while averaging 14 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 block, and 1 steal. What is even more impressive is his 50% field goal percentage and his 53% conversion rate behind the arc.
Gordon Hayward‘s injury has given Tatum a tremendous opportunity for a rookie. If Hayward was healthy, Tatum would not have been given the minutes he is playing. If you thought Brown’s mix-tape was impressive, you have to see Tatum’s. Jayson Tatum is a beast on defense. His long wing span allows him to be a feared defender, and someone you would not want to take one-on-one. He is also another athletic wing, just like Brown. Brad Stevens is putting together a position-less team on the Celtics, and Tatum fit the bill. ESPN Sports Science did a bit with Tatum and his athleticism. Watch him dunk with full armor on! Tatum is shocking the league with how fast he is developing, and is putting up numbers similar to the great Michael Jordan‘s rookie season. Don’t be surprised to see Tatum win Rookie of the Year.
Obviously, Celtics fans would love to keep both, but this is just a “what”if” scenario. If I had to choose who to keep, it would have to be Tatum. He is continuously improving, and his numbers get better every night. His play this early on in his career can’t be ignored. While Brown is a great player, Tatum is two years younger, and putting up better numbers than a returning player. Tatum’s height and wingspan also can’t be ignored. He is truly a defensive threat that offenses respect greatly. You won’t see many players try and go one-on-one with Tatum, and that is unheard of for a rookie. Add some strength for Tatum, and he would become unstoppable. The fact that he can play great low post offense, and drill a three pointer when needed is extremely impressive. He is one of the more versatile players on the Celtics roster, if not the NBA.
If you had to choose, who would you keep? Let us know on Twitter! Follow the LWOS Boston Celtics feed @LastWordCeltics!
CHARLOTTE, USA – APRIL 8: Jaylen Brown (R) of Boston Celtics blocks during the NBA match between Boston Celtics vs Charlotte Hornets at the Spectrum arena in Charlotte, NC, United States on April 8, 2017. (Photo by Peter Zay/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)