In the poll done by ESPN's Tim Bontemps, league executives were asked to rank which ones were most valuable at the current stage of their careers.
Jayson Tatum drew some interesting comparisons.
"Tatum is, overall, the most well-rounded," another said.
At the other end of the spectrum, though, are those who see a very nice player -- but one who ultimately isn't going to be the leader of a championship contender. They argue that Tatum might already have reached his peak and might not have a lot of growth left in his game.
"Tatum might be Carmelo [Anthony]," one West executive said. "He needs the ball in his hands."
"Tatum is a complementary player," an East executive said.
There is no doubt Tatum has shown a lot of star potential since his pro debut last October. In the playoffs, Tatum stepped up to become key for them in their run to the Eastern Conference Finals. This season, Tatum continues to show improvement in his performance, averaging 16.0 points, 6.2 rebounds, 2.1 assists, and 1.1 steals on 45.1 percent shooting from the field.
With that being said, there are doubts that Tatum can be the guy to lead a Championship contender.
The comparison to Melo might sound good at first, but he has become unplayable at 34-years-old and has yet to play in an NBA Finals.
“Anthony’s name was definitely used as a pejorative here, but it also serves as a warning for Tatum to keep evolving his game," writes Josh Karalis of MassLive. "Comparisons to Anthony right now are not pretty, and Tatum never wants to develop into a ball-stopping two-point specialist. Even if Anthony is a future Hall of Fame scorer, the style of play hasn’t helped his teams do much in the playoffs. As good as he was, Anthony never could lead his teams very far.”
Sadly, Anthony's name has become an insult in NBA circles. His play style, inability to adapt, and one-dimensional game have seriously limited his success on the court. It is too early to tell if Tatum will fit this mold, but he has shown signs.
It is no secret that the Boston forward has room for improvement on the defensive end. His offensive tendencies seem to mimic that of Anthony's as well. You can draw your own conclusions from that information.
Ultimately, there is no mistaking Tatum's talent and value as a young star in the league. What kind of star he will be, however, is much more a matter for debate as he closes out his sophomore season with the Celtics.