In what will be his fourth consecutive All-Star game, Jayson Tatum has decided to participate in some of the other festivities the weekend offers by accepting a spot in the 2023 3-point contest.
According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, the other contestants will be Kevin Huerter (Sacramento), Tyler Herro (Miami), Tyrese Haliburton (Indiana), Buddy Hield (Indiana), Damian Lillard (Portland), Anfernee Simons (Portland), and Lauri Markkanen (Utah).
Sources: NBA 3-Point Contest participants at All-Star Weekend: Boston's Jayson Tatum, Sacramento's Kevin Huerter, Miami's Tyler Herro, Indiana's Tyrese Haliburton and Buddy Hield, Portland's Damian Lillard and Anfernee Simons and Utah's Lauri Markkanen.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) February 14, 2023
Tatum has been shooting slightly under his career average from deep this season, converting 35.3% of his shots compared to the 37.7% he has converted over 419 career regular-season contests.
However, when taking wide-open threes, Tatum is sinking 44.7% of his attempts, which might be what’s led him to take on the challenge of competing against some of the best shooters the NBA has to offer. Of course, there’s no telling who’s going to be on their game once the whistle blows and that timer starts counting down, but given how competitive we know Tatum to be, we should be confident he will be looking to make it past the first round at a minimum.
It’s also worth remembering that this is the time of year when Tatum usually flips that superstar switch — you know, the one that sees him raise his game multiple levels seemingly out of nowhere?
If you’re wondering where Tatum’s moneyball’s are going to be situated, your should probably be focused on the right wing, where he is shooting 37% on 159 attempts, and potentially the right corner, where he has dropped 40% of his 30 shots so far this season. Still, Tatum could struggle above the break, as his conversion rate there is currently sitting at 27%, while the left wing has also been a problem for him this year, hitting just 64 of 196 shots.
Regardless of the outcome, Tatum’s participation is clearly just a bit of fun and will add another dimension to the All-Star festivities for Celtics fans who will be either attending or following from home. While it shouldn't need to be said, let’s hope Tatum finds a way to win this trophy so that it acts as a precursor to the one he’s trying to help the Celtics win in June — because that’s the one we’re all rooting for.
All-Star weekend is set to take place in Utah between February 17 and February 19.