Boston Celtics forward, Jayson Tatum, has expanded his height and his game. He may be ready to see some time at center.
In a previous article about Boston Celtics Jayson Tatum’s actual height, I used a group photo as partial evidence that he is in the vicinity of 6’9″ tall. The photo shows Jayson’s height close to that of Al Horford, who is generally listed at 6’10”.
I fully admit that a group-photo-as-evidence is certainly flawed, I am not the only observer who feels Jayson should no longer be listed at 6’8″. Even prior to being drafted at the age of 19 he was up to 6’8.25″. Here is a comment via Reddit.Com, followed by a statement from MaxPreps.com’s Mitch Stevens:
He’s (Tatum) listed at 6’8″…. Yeah right. I saw a timeout where he and horford were next to each other. I think our 19 yo 3pt champ is every bit of 6’11.
Blessed with smooth guard skills and a feel for the game, his recent growth spurt has allowed him to post up. He has extremely long arms and often throws over the top of shorter defenders. He sees the entire court. He’ll see it even better if one family doctor is correct. That doctor predicted Tatum won’t stop growing until he reaches between 6-10 and 7-1. “I was measured recently at 6-8½,” Tatum said. “I don’t know where I’ll stop. But I’ll keep working on my game.”
Using the eye test, many of us feel that Tatum is at least a solid 6’9″ right now. And we know that the Celtics core consists of the quintet of Tatum, Gordon Hayward, Jaylen Brown, Kemba Walker and Marcus Smart. These five players will likely be on the floor at the end of close games, so the question is, who plays center? My vote goes to Tatum, and I am not alone on that.
With Tatum filling into his frame and now standing at 6’9ish, he’s a viable option in the pivot when the Celtics go to the megadeath lineup with Kemba-Smart-Brown-Hayward. Better awareness and technique taking on drivers head on now.
— Jared Weiss (@JaredWeissNBA) September 1, 2019
After a sluggish start in World Cup exhibitions, Jayson came through in the first official opener, scoring 10 points, taking down four rebounds – and handing out two assists in the win over the Czech Republic. His rebounds and assists show an expansion of his game, just as our visual test shows an expansion of his height and muscle. We can watch him again tomorrow morning as Team USA takes on Turkey. We should see what Weiss calls the “Megadeath Lineup” often, possibly with Tatum at the 5-spot. Don’t discount the possibility.
Follow Tom at @CelticsSentinel and @_Celtics_Center