NBA

Kyrie Irving on potential of rookie Jayson Tatum: "He's a bad dude"

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The Boston Celtics have extremely high hopes for their No. 3 draft pick Jayson Tatum and believe he can become a key piece of the franchise's future.

The 19-year-old caught the eye of the team at Summer League and displayed an impressive all-around game for someone so young.

With his playing style, he's drawn comparisons with Celtics legend Paul Pierce and the man himself heaped praise on the youngster recently by saying he has a more "mature version" of his game.

The adulation hasn't stopped there as his new superstar teammate in Boston has weighed in on the potential of Tatum.

Kyrie Irving has only been part of the team for a few weeks but it hasn't taken long for him to develop a bond with his fellow Duke product and take on the role of being a mentor for the rookie.

Despite not officially beginning training camp, he's already seen enough from Tatum to suggest he'll become a star in the league.

"He's like my big little brother, or little big brother. That dude is so talented and he has a ceiling that sometimes you can't even really see it because - you won't be able to see it all the time because the amount of the respect that he has to earn as a rookie. But talent is through the roof," Irving said, per ESPN's Chris Forsberg.

Irving was drafted No. 1 overall in 2011 straight out of Duke and has had some ups and downs through his six-year career in the league and can pass on some important advice.

He believes that Tatum already has the luxury of coming through one of the best college systems in the States which will stand him in good stead but knows that there is still a lot more for him to learn to be successful in the NBA.

"He works extremely hard, and, of course, having the luxury of going to Duke and understanding what it's like to be on a great team and play with good players, and how much you have to sacrifice in order for us to be a great team," Irving said.

"So the individual goals and the individual talent, we gotta bring the best out of him and we gotta bring the best out of us. Once he figures that out, the sky is the limit for that kid. I'm serious when I tell you guys that that dude is a bad dude. He's a bad dude."

Topics:
Eastern Conference
NBA
Boston Celtics
Atlantic Division

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