Leading into his rookie campaign, Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum has drawn plenty of praise for the potential he has to develop into a premier talent in the league.
Despite that, general manager Danny Ainge voiced that he doesn’t believe Tatum won’t earn the Rookie of the Year award due to his expected minute workload this upcoming season, according to the Boston Globe.
“We’ll see what minutes (Tatum) will earn. I’m not worried about how they will play when the lights go on. It will be unlikely that Jayson is Rookie of the Year because it will probably come from a team that starts their rookies and plays them 35 minutes per night.”
It has most often been the case where the winner of the award plays in significant minutes for their respective teams unless they are able to make a huge impact in a limited role. A prime example of that is what Joel Embiid did on the court last season with the Philadelphia 76ers that nearly won him the accolade over Milwaukee Bucks guard Malcolm Brogdon, who didn’t latch onto a large until after Jabari Parker suffered a second ACL tear in early February.
There are various factors at play in each campaign that can tilt the entire race for the award in a player favor. As for Tatum, he may have a hard time truly standing out with the Celtics in his first campaign with the team expected to rely on offseason additions Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward along with Al Horford to shoulder the offensive load. This should create fewer opportunities for him to consistently put up strong offensive outings to gain any favor.
Although it’s a prestigious honor to receive the award, this doesn’t make or break an NBA career. That said, it’s likely something that Tatum is still shooting for regardless of his current situation.
By Bob Garcia