Published: Mon, June 26, 2017
Sport | By Wendy Sparks

Danny Ainge says Josh Jackson canceled Celtics workout on them

Danny Ainge says Josh Jackson canceled Celtics workout on them

Jayson Tatum lived up to lofty expectations and was the third overall pick of the 2017 NBA Draft.

No splash, no fireworks, nothing other than what Danny Ainge predicted since he traded down for the third pick in the National Basketball Association draft. Tatum figures to be good right away, and could well end up being the best player in this draft - a distinction that could realistically belong to any one of six or seven players a few years from now.

"Celtics fans are the greatest fans in the world". They clinched the Eastern Conference with a record of 53-29, ahead of the Cleveland Cavaliers by two games.

"I would be looking at Isaac or Tatum with that pick".

Boston ended up taking former Duke forward Jayson Tatum at No. 3, while Jackson was selected by the Phoenix Suns just one pick later at No. 4.

Tatum averaged 16.8 points and 7.3 rebounds for the Blue Devils in 2016-17, ranking second on the team and among ACC freshmen in both categories. "His game translates to the National Basketball Association as well or better than anyone else in the draft".

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Duke's Jayson Tatum answers questions during an interview after being selected by the Boston Celtics as the third pick overall during the NBA Draft on Thursday.

A league source confirmed a New York Daily News report that Jackson was asking for Thursday night's No. 3 pick, next year's Brooklyn first-round pick, Jaylen Brown and Jae Crowder.

During a conference call Thursday, Jackson said he's ready to guard the best player on any team, whether it be Paul George, Kevin Durant, or even LeBron James. "They are not going to challenge Cleveland in the next couple of years", Bilas predicted.

Tatum, the son of CBC coach Justin Tatum, said he feels fortunate to be joining a contender immediately.

"It's great", he said. "I think that I get to learn that much more, especially from a veteran team that knows what it takes to get there".

He turned out to be correct. He said that they had a workout planned to watch him and talk to him and they flew out to Sacramento, California for that workout.

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That won't preclude him from revisiting some of those discussions once free agency opens next month, though. "They've been with me my entire life, before I was going to be in the National Basketball Association, and they've helped me and been with me the entire way", Tatum said.

"This is the guy we wanted", said Grousbeck.

Instead, the Celtics traded down, giving the Philadelphia 76ers the top pick and moving to pick three and acquiring a future first-round pick. The cost for a glorified "rental" will be low, and it's actually a gamble I think the Celtics should roll the dice on.

Josh Jackson choosing not to work out with the Boston Celtics didn't sit well with boss Danny Ainge, and once the NBA Draft came to a close, he wasn't shy to say why. While Tatum is a special offensive player, he might need time to develop his defensive skills since Brad Stevens is a defensive-minded coach. "I'm just a really versatile player". I was all for it.

Boston also brought in No. 1 pick Markelle Fultz, but drafting the Washington product would have likely meant a move from point guard to shooting guard, with an All-Star in Thomas already on the roster. Ainge said he was upset about the last-minute cancellation, but that they didn't hold it against him. "Flew across country, are you kidding me? When I kind of got reintegrated into this process, right after the season was over, he was one of the guys that it was clear that we were targeting".

Pressed on if the cancellation left Boston considering passing entirely on Jackson, Ainge said he tried to remain calm about the situation. He was always tall for his age, taller than most of his teachers in his class.

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