Not in a million years would I make that deal.
There are only two players in the league right now that I would trade Tatum for, and they are Giannis and Luka. Anyone else, I'd hang up on the spot.
Tatum is a good 1 on 1 talent. But there is no other way to put it. He is a ball stopper. Ball stop + slows the pace to a grinding halt.
Because he is one of only three guys on the entire team that is capable of creating his own shot, and the other two (Kemba and Brown) have missed a number or games.
Team almost blew a 27 pt lead vs Hawks. Blew 24 pt lead yesterday due to that horrific 3rd quarter. In both cases Tatum was the main ball handler and/or ended up shooting the ball
Tatum was the one with the ball in those scenarios because he is the go-to guy and #1 scoring option on this team.
No lead is safe with this team anymore. Opposing teams are instructed to pressure Tatum/and or double team him. And have a fighting chance to erase any kind of double digit leads
Since the Heat series (where they also did this to him), teams have taken notice
The question is, will Tatum be able to identify and break through this. Or won't because he has to meet his stat quota
Tatum is 22 years old. In the space of 3 seasons he went from being a rookie, to being a key part of the team, to being the teams #1 scoring option. That's a massive change in role / responsibility, especially for a player as young as him.
Last year he established himself as a genuine star in this league, and he kinda caught a lot of teams by surprise. Now teams know about him, he's not a secret anymore. Every time Boston plays another team, Tatum is the focal point of their opponent's defence. That's a very different scenario to the one he was in this time last season, and it's going to take him some time to adjust to that and to learn to counter it.
He's already started to make those adjustments slowly. He's improving his passing/playmaking ability in a huge way. his Assist % has gone from 10.0% in his second year, to 14.5% last year, to 20.9% this year. And even though his assist percentage and usage rate have gone up by a huge margin, his turnover rate hasn't changed at all - in fact at 9.8% it's pretty much the lowest of his career.
So it's clear that Tatum is learning, adjusting, and growing as a player. But he's a 22 year kid in his 4th season - people should probably be realistic and cut the kid some slack. I cant even imagine the having to deal with the type of pressure and expectations at 22 that Tatum has on him right now.
And it's hardly unusual that Tatum has the ball in his hands a lot - he's the team's go-to scorer. That's to be expected.
Tatum is averaging 25, 7 and 5 with decent efficiency and he's a well above average defender,. And he's 22 years old. If anybody came to this forum 3 or 4 years ago and told everybody we'd have a < 25 year old guy averaging 25 PPG and playing quality defence we'd have all lost our minds with excitement. We have two of them!
I understand the frustration fans feel with the team at the movement, hell I feel it too. But I don't think it's fair to dump that frustration on guys like Tatum and Brown. They are kids, and between the two of them they taking on something like 50% of the team's production. They are under immense pressure and they are doing all they can to carry the load. Lets show them some appreciation.
Tatum and Brown are the two biggest, bright spots on this team right now, and are both well beyond the production level that any of us likely expected them to be at right now. it's not their fault that the rest of the roster (bar Kemba) is made up of rookies and scraps.
Just imagine what this team's record would be right now if Tatum wasn't
on the roster. Because I assure you it would be a LOT worse.