You’ll have to skip (pun intended) past the LeBron James part of this article but when you do, you’ll see what Skip Bayless thinks of Jayson Tatum as compared to Lonzo Ball:
“I’m not backing off, Lonzo Ball will be better at what he does long-term than Jayson Tatum will be at what he does...What Jayson Tatum does kind of grows on trees, you can find those guys…Brandon Ingram can do what Jayson Tatum does.”
He went on to say that Ball “led the team in rebounding much of the year until Julius Randle barely passed him. He led the team in assists. He was one of the top point guard in the league in assists.”
We appreciate Ball’s court vision. It’s remarkable. But let’s take a closer look at a couple of things.
First, the Lakers finished 35-47. Randle finished with 8 rpg. Ball managed 6.9.
Tatum finished averaging 13.9 and 5 rpg.
However, Ball played a lot more minutes all season, other than March, when he played just 20.5 mpg. He was thrown into the fire out of necessity where Tatum only stepped up at the end when injuries forced Boston to play their younger players more.
They’re very different players obviously and we’ll see how Ball pans out. Tatum too and for that matter, Brandon Ingram, who was also slighted above by Bayless.
But Bayless is often clueless. He was the guy who said that Notre Dame blew it by hiring Mike Brey, that he was just a “vanilla” coach who was destined to fail.
He’s arguably become the best coach in Notre Dame history and certainly has aged better than Digger Phelps did, who is his primary competition for best Irish coach.
But we’ll go with two other factors here and Kobe Bryant first.
Bryant, who worked out with Tatum recently, wondered after why the Lakers took Ball instead. That’s much more credible than anything Bayless might say.
Secondly, consider the fact that Ball keeps coming up in trade rumors. The word from Boston, consistently, has been that Tatum will not be traded, period.
LA has minimal trade options; the Celtics have endless options.
That really tells you what you need to know.