NBA Draft Odds Update: Tatum Rising

Jayson Tatum

Jason Lake

Tuesday, May 23, 2017 7:39 PM GMT

It still looks like Markelle Fultz will be taken No. 1 in this year’s NBA Draft. But watch out, because Duke SF Jayson Tatum is making a move up the NBA odds board.

Not enough drama in these NBA playoffs for you? There’s always the future, or to be more specific, the 2017 NBA Draft on June 22 (7:00 p.m. ET, ESPN). Some very promising players will be turning pro; Washington’s Markelle Fultz and UCLA’s Lonzo Ball are at the top of the class, with a strong contingent behind them looking for that No. 1 spot. We’ve discussed Kansas forward Josh Jackson as an alternate choice for the Boston Celtics, but there’s another name in the mix: Jayson Tatum.

(Ominous thunder.)



Okay, the prospect of yet another Duke Blue Devil going No. 1 doesn’t appeal to everyone. But as we go to press, Tatum is available at +1200 on the NBA odds board over at Bovada. Fultz is still the heavy favorite at –500, followed by Ball at +400, so they’re probably going 1-2. Jackson isn’t even on the list anymore, although he’s in the field at +1000. Let’s dig deep, peel back the layers, and get to know the real story behind Tatum – because the Celtics could use him more than either of the two guards at the top of the draft board.
 

There’s Something on the Wing

It’s all about needs. The Celtics are flush in the backcourt with Isaiah Thomas and Marcus Smart, among others, but they could use a little more help on the wing. Jackson is the best two-way option available; Tatum is the best scorer of the bunch, and he should be ready straight out of the box after playing a pro-style offense at Duke.

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Chris Broussard on @FS1 today: "I'm told the Celtics like Jayson Tatum a lot."
76ers fans, Danny Ainge knowshttps://t.co/W8FPWEQjpa pic.twitter.com/0OehAdM1P3

— Jason McIntyre (@jasonrmcintyre) May 20, 2017
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The Celtics have the option of trading down to get the man they want, but here’s the trick: The teams make their selections first, then pull off their exchanges afterward. Think of last year’s trade between the Sacramento Kings and the Phoenix Suns. Sacramento drafted Marquese Chriss at No. 8, then shipped his rights to the Suns for a package that included No. 28 pick Skal Labissiere.

In theory, Boston could cut a deal with the Philadelphia 76ers, who own the No. 3 selection and could really use one of those two guards at the top of the draft. But the Celtics would still end up taking either Fultz or Ball instead of Jackson or Tatum. Keep that in mind when you’re making your NBA picks, and may the sphere be with you.