This NBA season we witnessed the rise of some of the stars that will rule the league in the future. The biggest name on that list is Dallas Mavericks’ star Luka Doncic, who had a terrific second season in the association, being considered an MVP candidate at some point due to his performances on the court.
However, for ESPN’s analyst Stephen A. Smith, Doncic is great and has a bright future ahead of him, but he believes the Boston Celtics standout Jayson Tatum will be even better than the Slovenian point guard. During Wednesday’s edition of ‘First Take’, Smith made the case for the third-year Boston Celtic.
“…I’m leaning toward Jayson Tatum. I’m just a huge Jayson Tatum fan,” Smith said on ESPN. “He’s about two to three inches taller than Luka Doncic. He’s clearly a much better defender. He’s averaging nearly 20 points (per game) on nearly 45 percent shooting and nearly 40 percent shooting from 3-point range, which is considerably better than the 3-point shooting of Luka. …I just look at Jayson Tatum and what he’s asked to do and how he’s just 22 years of age. Just 22. He’s got a handle, he’s got a shot, he can go to the hole, he can finish at the basket. Plus, he can defend.
“I love what I’ve seen from Zion (Williamson), I love what I’ve seen from Luka. Both of those candidates clearly have the potential. But I got news for you: It would be a mistake to omit Jayson Tatum from this conversation. He is right there, and he can overtake anybody. He’s got that kind of skill, that kind of length, that kind of athleticism. That kind of defensive prowess, as well. He’s got the package, man. He’s something special.”
Doncic is a great player, a terrific offensive weapon, but he’s not much of a defender. Zion is great, too, he’s made an immediate impact on the league and the Pelicans, but for SAS, the answer is clear. They will be a lot of great stars in the future, not only these three but Trae Young, Ja Morant, among others.
Once LeBron James, Kevin Durant, and the rest of the current NBA stars retire, there will be a great group of players in the league, with Tatum leading the way, according to Stephen A.