Sports | Men's basketball

Duke's Jayson Tatum selected third overall by Boston Celtics in 2017 NBA Draft

Freshman phenom Jayson Tatum dominated his opponents and kept them on their toes with his ability to throw down highlight-reel dunks or hit daggers from deep in his lone season with the Blue Devils.

Now, Tatum will look to take his pure scoring mentality to Boston as he continues to develop consistency on his jump shot.

Tatum was selected by the Boston Celtics with the third pick in the 2017 NBA Draft Thursday night at the Barclays Center in New York. The St. Louis native was the first Blue Devil selected in this year’s draft, making this the fourth consecutive season a Duke one-and-done was drafted in the top three.

Last season, Tatum averaged 16.8 points and 7.3 rebounds per game and teamed with guard Luke Kennard to carry Duke offensively. Despite missing the first eight games of the year due to a left foot sprain, his draft stock skyrocketed during conference play, when he scored at least 19 points on eight occasions.

Tatum had his best game of the year at Virginia Feb. 15, scoring 28 points and drilling 6-of-7 3-point attempts. His range was not as potent in most games, finishing with a 34.2 percent clip from deep, but Tatum attacked the basket effectively throughout the second half of the year and shined in the Blue Devils' four-game run to the ACC title at the Barclays Center in March.

The Fit: Tatum will now join a Celtics team that was the top seed in the Eastern Conference last season and lost to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference Finals, led by point guard Isaiah Thomas and big man Al Horford. With young forwards Jae Crowder and Jaylen Brown in the mix and a stockpile of future first-round draft picks, general manager Danny Ainge has plenty of trade chips to cash in for a superstar whenever he decides to pull the trigger.

At 6-foot-8 and 205 pounds, Tatum possesses the size and strength to play as a forward in the NBA and will be a valuable offensive piece for a franchise with one of the league's brightest futures.


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