1. Tatum isn't near the top 11 right now with the return of KD and Curry, that's probably his ceiling.
if you come up with a reasonable way to get Jokic, let everyone know.Tatum + fillers for Jokic. Poison pill provision would be a problem. I bet both teams would say no.
Personally speaking, I'd do it for the C's. We'd probably have to make more moves to balance the roster, but imo Jokic is a top 5 player in the league. Worst case scenario, top 6. Never gonna happen obviously. Just saying.
I wouldn't do it, but not because the value isn't there - it is. And it would be a fit for the long-standing visions of both Ainge and Stevens to play through a big.
When Ainge became an executive with the Celtics he mentioned two offenses that he'd like to emulate: Sacramento and Minnesota. The Kings at that time were playing through Divac and/or Webber and the TWolves were playing through Garnett. And of course it was only a few seasons later that Garnett was doing that in Boston.
Olynyk and especially Al Horford were used in that role effectively later on, but Jokic is a cut above the rest, maybe above every big ever.
On the other hand that is not such a great role for Theis or Thompson.
All the same, I think that the franchise's best long-term practice is to avoid churn and drastic changes, unless they're forced. Is Tatum a top-10 NBA player? Good chance, and his future looks even better than his present. If he's 11th best, and Jokic is 5th (or however you rank them), I say that's not a good enough difference.
I'm uncomfortable with ranking players so specifically anyway. How a guy is used, fatigue and injury, decline, different variabilities in performance, a big measure of plain luck, and, not least, the method you use to rank players, all affect how your list sorts out; and the number differences are minuscule.
Add to that that you're comparing players who do vastly different things on the court (e.g., Jokic and Tatum), and those comparisons really don't seem possible - at least at the level of #3, #9, #21, etc.
Can you win a championship with Tatum? I'd say yes, of course you can.
So, what does Boston need to get to the Finals.
I'll say first that I'm a little disappointed in the question. As Celtics fans, isn't the question supposed to be, 'how do you win Championship 18?' But oh well.
I'm opposed to acquiring James Harden. His willingness to damage the Rockets with irresponsible and team-detrimental behavior cannot be acceptable to the Boston Celtics. It's team-first around here, in case you hadn't heard.
I'm not excited about potential Orlando Magic trade targets, either, since the price tags are inflated for the value return.
No doubt there are other trade targets possible, but more than anything Boston needs a guy who can push the ball up the floor quicker, get the ball anywhere he needs to off the dribble, and then make a play. They need Kemba Walker.
He's a brilliant pnr ballhandler, and if he returns fully healthy, Thompson and especially Daniel Theis will have their games open up.
I pushed back most of last season on the idea that Boston needed a scorer 'off the bench', since there weren't enough shots to go around as it was. But with Hayward gone and Kemba injured, the usage is overwhelmingly shifted to two players.
Tatum is at 30.9% and Brown is at 29.2%. Third among rotation players is Teague at 18.3%. While this might be sustainable, if those two have good luck with injuries, it's a poor recipe for a really effective offense and for a rested duo in the playoffs.
They need Kemba. His usage last year was between the two Jays at 27.2, and his turnover% was between them, too.
Boston needs to get to the line more. Kemba did more often per fga than either of the Jays.
They need Kemba. If his knee is going to fall apart every spring, then they need someone else like him.
2. The difference between a guy good enough to knock on the door of the "inner circle" MVPs like LeBron/Giannis/Kawhi/AD/KD/Curry and a perennial All-NBA player that Tatum's hoping to be is pretty significant - it's really difficult to break into the range that Jokic is in right now from the "All-NBA" band. I'm not saying that you can't win with that kind of guy as your best player, but you need a lot of talent around him (good examples would be the '04 Pistons and '14 Spurs where they had two players on that level with the Pistons having two more top 30 players and another top 40-50 defensive specialist, while the Spurs had three top 40-50 players in Manu/Kawhi/Green and a platoon of good role players to support Duncan/Parker). We can definitely do that if Kemba comes back 100% and Jaylen makes the leap, but it's infinitely more easy to compete for a title if you have a Jokic level guy where you can pair him with another star and a couple of Smarts instead of trying to cobble two stars and a couple of Smarts to support Tatum.
Tatum is pretty clearly better than Curry this year. Their counting stats are a wash, but Tatum is substantially more efficient and also is much better and more impactful defensively.
Without getting into how the counting stats don't even come close to measuring player impact all that well (you usually miss qualitative stuff with the raw numbers), they aren't a wash at all.
Curry box stats per 75: 27.9 points, 6.38 assists, 3.1 TOs
Tatum box stats per 75: 27.98 points, 3.98 assists, 2.48 TOs
Curry dwarfs Tatum when it comes to playmaking even in the box score (the box score doesn't even quite capture Curry's insane gravity and passing ability that is in a different universe compared to the likes of Tatum), and that's not even taking Curry's incredibly scalable game into account, his ability to be an offensive savant that can oscillate on and off the ball is something that Tatum can only dream of.
Also not sure where are you getting the numbers that say Tatum is more efficient than Curry unless you're still in love with the raw efficiency slash line, Curry has a 59.9% TS this season with uncharacteristically poor shooting while Tatum is at 58.8% on the back of a scorching hot start to the season by his standards - the gap between the two will only widen as both players regress to the mean.
Tatum is definitely way better than Curry on defence (rebounds/stocks as well as the eye test, adjusted +/- metrics and tracking data make this very obvious), but he isn't a titanic big man who vaults teams into the upper stratosphere defensively by himself, so any advantage he has over an average to above average guard defender like Curry doesn't even come close to closing the massive chasm between the two offensively.