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Stephen A. Smith: 'Imagine If The Lakers Drafted Jayson Tatum Instead Of Lonzo Ball'

(Credit: Fadeaway World)

(Credit: Fadeaway World)

Jayson Tatum is clearly becoming one of the league's standard-setters. He's arguably the quietest, yet the most productive young player in the league, and he's slowly turning into a superstar.

Tatum showed exactly that during his Boston Celtics' heart-breaking loss vs. the Los Angeles Lakers this past weekend when he tied his career-high for 41 points and forced LeBron James to a heroic performance.

That's why Stephen A. Smith claimed this was by no means a statement win by the Laker, as the Celtics were without All-Star point guard Kemba Walker.

Moreover, Smith lauded Tatum's incredible performance and dared Lakers fans to think how their team could've looked like had they drafted Tatum instead of Lonzo Ball back in 2017:

"I'm sorry to be a spoiler for Lakers fans out here but this is the guy you passed on to draft Lonzo Ball. How does that feel? Obviously, he might've not ended up this way, but let's fantasize for a moment here: can you imagine if the Los Angeles Lakers had LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Jayson Tatum on the same team? I mean, can you imagine what could've been like?", Smith said.

No disrespect to Lonzo whatsoever, but he's been nowhere near the superstar everybody - Lakers included - thought he'd be out of the gate.

Thus far, Ball has averaged 10.1 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 6.5 assists per game throughout his career and has missed a lot of games due to injury. Also, there's been an obvious lack of improvement over the years.

Tatum, on the other hand, is becoming not only one of the most skilled and effective scorers in the league but also a lockdown defender.

This season, he's averaging 22.9 points, 7.0 rebounds, 2.9 assists, and 1.4 steals per game on 44% shooting. He's embraced a leadership role and is posting these kinds of numbers even though he's sharing touched with Gordon Hayward, Jaylen Brown, and Kemba Walker.

It's crazy to think Tatum has been this good this fast, and he went just one pick below Lonzo, who's not even with the team anymore.