It didn't take long before Jayson Tatum proved that he was a special kind of talent. More than being a great scorer, he's also an efficient player every single time he touches the ball, and he can make a huge impact on the defensive end of the floor again.
Tatum continues to blossom as a star right before our eyes. He just keeps getting better and better and he hasn't hesitated to take a big shot despite not being around for that much.
That, combined with his versatility and all the little things he can do to get the ball in the hoop, made former Celtics big man Kendrick Perkins go as far as to call him the second-best scorer in the NBA behind Kevin Durant and ahead of James Harden:
“I keep saying is that Jayson Tatum is probably the best scorer in the game today, right under Kevin Durant. Offensively, he has zero flaws. There’s nothing that he can’t do and no one could stop him," the former NBA champion said after the Celtics' loss to the Lakers.
Perkins went on to add that Tatum is more of a complete scorer because he can pull up from all three levels rather than just forcing contact or taking stepback three-pointers:
“He is, because James Harden, he does a great job of as far as getting to the free-throw line. But when you talk about just a guy that could go get a bucket, we don’t see James Harden pulling up from mid-range shots. We don’t see James Harden going to the low block and having fadeaways and turn arounds over both shoulders. (...) Jayson Tatum could pull up for three just like James Harden can," Perkins concluded.
While that may sound like a bit of a reach, Perkins has a valid point. James Harden is an unstoppable force of nature in terms of scoring, but perhaps Tatum is a bit more versatile.
Thus far, the former third-overall pick is averaging a career-high 26.8 points per game with 3.1 three-pointers and just 3.1 free-throws per game on 48.4/43.5/83.3 shooting splits, so it could be just a matter of time before he proves Perkins' point and becomes the best or second-best scorer in the Association.