NBA at the moment is filled with plenty of young talent who are already playing big roles for their franchises. So it is difficult to point out one single player who stands out the most. Recently in a podcast, Shannon Sharpe asked NBA Analyst Stephen A. Smith about his favourite youngster in the league who stands out from the rest.
Smith was asked about the next generation and was given a pool of players which included players like Jayson Tatum, Luka Doncic, Anthony Edwards, Trae Young, Zion Williamson, LaMelo Ball, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and De’Aaron Fox, basically the ones under the age of 25.
While many predicted Smith to select Luka Doncic, he selected Tatum. He feels that Tatum has everything in his game and has stepped up to his team’s needs in crucial matches and has also led them very nicely. Tatum has guided the Celtics really well in the playoffs. Although they have not won the NBA Championships, his efforts still cannot be denied.
“A lot of people say Luka,” Smith said. “I’m going to say, Jayson Tatum. He’s 6-9, can shoot the 3. I saw Tatum drop 46 in a closeout playoff Game 6 in Milwaukee. I saw him handle his business in Game 7. I’ve seen a young Tatum, who ain’t even 27 years of age yet, be a primary option on a team that’s going to five conference championship series and an NBA Finals.”
He then continues about players keeping in shape and how Tatum is always in shape and raring to perform for the Celtics. He brought an example of Luka where he looked massively out of shape and feels that it gives the edge to Tatum in this comparison. “I just look at him. We talk about conditioning. There have been times when we’ve looked at Luka and we’ve said, ‘He ain’t in shape, he’s getting in shape as the season progresses.’ We look at Tatum from day one and say, ‘He’s in shape.’ That matters to me,” Smith explained.
Tatum is the most experienced player in the list mentioned above. He has guided his team to six playoffs and out of which four have been conference finals and also an NBA final. Therefore he is truly a very talented player who can do wonders in the coming seasons.