The 2018-19 Celtics could be defined by a lot of different words or phrases, but one that seems to cover everything would be them not living up to the lofty expectations set before the season started.
Perhaps no other player on the team had more to live up to than Jayson Tatum. After averaging 18.5 points per game in last year's postseason as a rookie and leading the Celtics to the brink of the NBA Finals, Tatum was expected to make a big leap in his sophomore campaign.
When the season ended, some were left unsatisfied with Tatum's progress, and according to a report from Ben Standig of NBC Sports Washington, one Eastern Conference scout believes 2018-19 negatively affected his stock in reference to a potential trade between the Celtics and Wizards for Bradley Beal.
'Tatum's stock took a hit this season,' an Eastern Conference scout said. Others made similar claims during the season as the playmaking forward appeared lost at times playing with Irving. Regardless, Tatum is a talented 21-year-old who went head-to-head against LeBron James in the 2018 Eastern Conference Final.
'Tatum and 22 for Beal? Brown and 20? That's something to consider,' the scout said.
Tatum's minutes were slightly higher than his rookie year while his shot attempts increased from 10.4 to 13.1 per game, but his production increased across the board without a dropoff in efficiency.
Tatum's scoring went up from 13.9 to 15.7 points per game, his rebounding numbers increased and he showed development as a playmaker in pick and roll situations. The only noteworthy regression was from three-point land, where Tatum shot 37.3 percent compared to 43.4 percent mark he put up as a rookie.
Tatum did not become a bonafide superstar in his second season as a professional, but that doesn't necessarily mean he regressed as a basketball player. However, it is the belief of at least one scout that his trade stock has taken a hit. If that's the case with more scouts and executives across the league, then it might prove to have an impact on potential trade discussions centered around Beal, Anthony Davis or another star players the Celtics might target.
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