Tatum’s Contributions for Celtics Make Him Early Favorite for Rookie-of-the-Year

Last night, the Celtics beat the 76ers, 108-97. Rookie and the third overall draft pick in the 2017-2018 NBA Draft, Jayson Tatum played 28 minutes, scored 15 points, and had 2 rebounds and 2 assists.

Meanwhile, the first overall draft pick and 76ers rookie, Markelle Fultz, did not play.

Although some criticized Boston Celtics President and General Manager Danny Ainge for trading the 2017-2018 number one overall draft pick to the Philadelphia 76ers for the third overall pick and more, Ainge’s trade so far appears to be the right decision.

In fact, ESPN has given Jayson Tatum 12-1 odds versus 20-1 for Markelle Fultz to win Rookie Of The Year 2017-2018, due to the Gordon Hayward situation and Fultz’s shoulder complications.

When comparing Tatum and Fultz in college while focusing on their scoring abilities; Fultz is the better statistical player, but after more than 22 games played this season, Tatum is rising above Fultz.

After injuring his shoulder in the offseason, Fultz has played only four games in the NBA. With his injury setting him back, Fultz still remains without a timeline for a return.

76ers head coach, Brett Brown said, “We do not know [when he’ll return]. Slowly we’re getting his shoulder stronger.” Additionally, Fultz made the decision to change his shooting form, in effort to use his shoulder less, which resulted in him shooting 50% from the free throw line—lower than his 65% college percentage from the line.

While Fultz and the 76ers are 12-8, Tatum and the Celtics are 18-4, with a 16 game winning streak starting in the third game of the season, before receiving their third loss in game 19 to the Miami Heat. Tatum is averaging 14 points per game and has stepped up while the team is missing Hayward, along with missing Al Horford and Kyrie Irving for one game each. In Fultz’s four games played, he has averaged six points per game.

At this point in the season, Ty Anderson of WEEI said, “It goes without saying that judging a career off a Summer League and a preseason isn’t necessarily foolproof…Celtics president Danny Ainge continues to look straight-up brilliant for opting to trade the 2017 No. 1 overall pick to the 76ers…Not only were the Celtics still able to get a player they viewed as their guy in Jayson Tatum with the No. 3 overall pick…but their early assessment of Markelle Fultz seems to be on point, as Fultz will reportedly begin his first NBA season on the bench.”

So far this season, the Boston Celtics got the better player after the NBA Draft with Jayson Tatum over the 76ers, even though many doubted Danny Ainge when trading the No. 1 overall pick after receiving it in the NBA Draft Lottery. 

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