Bill Sy: OK, here’s my convoluted plan. Assuming that all the reports and rumors are true and the Lakers pick Lonzo Ball at #2, the Celtics will have the pick of the litter at #3. The consensus seems to be that 3-5 will be some ordering of Jayson Tatum, Josh Jackson, Johnathan Isaac, and De’Aaron Fox. Ainge has a favorite in mind. We’ve heard that it could be the defensive-minded Jackson, but the Celtics have seen Tatum twice now. Regardless of who his favorite is, I call former assistant GM Ryan McDonough and Vlade Divac in Sacramento and start a bidding war for #3. If he can figure out who they want and it’s not his guy, I try to pick off another asset and move down.
With that said, I had been a Jackson guy since February, but over the last two weeks, I’ve started leaning toward Tatum. I was really impressed with Jackson’s ability to float around on both sides of the ball like he was on a hoverboard; he seemed to always make the right cut or anticipate opposing offenses so easily. Lately however, I’ve been infatuated with Tatum’s shooting. When scouting players, it’s easy to get caught up in highlight plays. You see the and-1 moves and the dunks and the steals and get intoxicated with how awesome a kid looks at his best, but then you realize how much of the NBA game is simply what you can consistently do. Can a player hit that 15 footer on a screen and pop? Can a player get to the rim and finish on a bad close out? Jackson has his moments and they’re special, but if I’m going to be on who I can rely on, it’s Tatum.
Lachlan Marr: For my money it's got to be Jayson Tatum. The versatile wing scorer out of Duke has so many skills that could complement the current Celtics roster that it would be crazy not to take him if he's available at the 3 spot, and we all know that Ainge isn't prone to making crazy decisions, right?
Regardless, Tatum is capable in isolation, can create his own shot and uses a variety of moves to get to the basket, plus he has worked on his perimeter shooting to bring it up to a respectable percentage. I'm not sure I believe the talk about him being Paul Pierce 2.0, but his ability to make his jumper almost at will certainly shows shades of the Truth.
While there is some concern over incorporating in another wing alongside Jaylen Brown, Jae Crowder and any possible additions through free agency (I'm looking at you Gordon Hayward), Tatum's versatility and specific skill set makes me think he could easily find a place in the rotation and could work well alongside the current wing players.
The fact that Tatum seems like a genuinely good guy who has worked extremely hard to get where he is and displayed the type of never-give-up attitude that fits in perfectly with Boston's ethos is also a huge bonus.
Jeff Clark: Trade it for a star. (Sorry, that's all I've got right now since I've done exactly zero research into the draft beyond Fultz.)
Keith Smith: The first option should be to trade the pick. Barring that, the pick should be Jayson Tatum. He fills a need as a combo forward more than Josh Jackson does. I see Jackson as having too much overlap with Jaylen Brown, and I'm not sure either ever shoots it well enough to make up for the other one. Tatum can at least slide up and play some power forward in small-ball lineup. I also like his overall profile a bit more than Jackson's.
Jeff Nooney: Jonathan Isaac might be a slight reach at #3, but he could be a dominant two-way player in the NBA. His defensive potential stands out immediately. He has a huge frame and rare athleticism for a guy standing 6'10". The ‘Noles switched a ton of defense last season, so he has experience guarding smaller players. Isaac combines the quickness to stay with guards with the length to smother them. That kind of skill doesn’t come around often. We’ve seen Brad Stevens run some hyper-small lineups with Jerebko at center. I’d love to see what Isaac could do in that role, especially once he bulks up a little.
Isaac isn't a go-to scorer at this point in his career, and it’s natural to be concerned about his tendency to disappear at times. But he showed signs of a solid three-point shooting, finishing, and cutting. With the Celtics running most of their offense through Isaiah Thomas and Al Horford, Isaac’s complementary skill set would fit perfectly in the short term. And if he develops a better handle and passing skills, then look out.
Danny Ainge should roll the dice on taking Jon Isaac with the third pick. Or better yet, take a cue from Bill Belichick and pick Isaac at #5 after trading down with the Kings.
Bobby Manning: I am all about Jayson Tatum now. Tatum brings such a fluid offensive game at the wing that the Cs simply don't have now. He can use his body to score and has nifty footwork. At 6'8" with his 7'0" wingspan, his size is competitive at the NBA level.
Tatum looks like a pure wing scorer who can't be ignored by defenses. At best, he'll be one of the Celtics' best weapons and an outlet to take pressure off Isaiah Thomas.
The weakness is clear: he's got footwork issues on the defensive end and could be a negative there. Danny Ainge and Brad Stevens seem to collectively have issues drafting players who don't have defensive poise, but Kelly Olynyk was selected for his intriguing offensive promise.
There's nothing wrong with a defensive mentality as a team. Marcus Smart, Terry Rozier and Jaylen Brown were awesome, but all struggled to play initially because of shooting or offensive ailments.
In addition, Brown, the only pick from last year’s draft integrated into a great team, was pulled for many of his mistakes. Even when it looked like his presence could make a postseason impact, the leash was kept tight. I hate to think of Josh Jackson being in that spot.
The Cs ultimately lost (statistically) because Boston couldn't make Cleveland pay for the wide-open shots they gave them. Tatum's forte is putting the ball in the basket, and it would be a breath of fresh air for the Celtics' offensive system.