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Jayson Tatum.

Celtics rookie Jayson Tatum explains the pros and cons of being drafted by a good team

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Heading into his first NBA season, Boston Celtics rookie Jayson Tatum finds himself in a unique position which is largely uncommon for high draft picks.

Traditionally, teams that secure lottery picks are those that fail to make the playoffs but Tatum was picked by a franchise that will be competing for a championship.

That's due to the Celtics receiving the rights to the Brooklyn Nets' draft pick this year in the deal that saw them acquire Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett in 2013.

With most top rookies ending up on losing teams, they tend to see many minutes in their rookie campaigns in the hope that they develop into stars and lead the franchise.

This may not be the case for the Celtics' young small forward as he will have to earn his stripes on a talented team that features the likes of Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward.

The 19-year-old is likely to come off the bench for most of the year as he adjusts to life in the NBA but has the maturity to understand his situation and do what's necessary.

“I know I have to come in here every day and just work,” said Tatum, according to ESPN’s Chris Forsberg. “I need to do the small things and do what’s best for the team.

Charlotte Hornets v Boston Celtics

“Most guys in my position don’t get drafted to such a high-caliber team like the Celtics, so it makes me work harder because I have to compete and earn everything.”

Boston has high hopes for the Duke product and franchise legend Pierce - who Tatum is being compared to - has already said he has a more "mature version" of his game at such a young age.

The 6'8" forward impressed in the Summer League as he averaged 17.7 points and 8.0 rebounds and showed off his scoring ability.

Head coach Brad Stevens believes there is so much more to come from the number three draft pick and hopes he doesn't stop learning.

Charlotte Hornets v Boston Celtics

"Bottom line is, he can get so much better," Stevens said. "He's already a good player, but he can get a lot better. I think that's one of our charges, is to really make sure that every day is a learning day.

"He's got a good attitude about it. I think he's a lot like Jaylen from the standpoint of I don't think he's going to get too high or too low. He's got a really even-keel about him."

Tatum will make his league debut in the Celtics' tasty opening night encounter with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Topics:
Eastern Conference
NBA
Boston Celtics
Atlantic Division

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