Welcome to Boston.com’s Sports Q, our daily conversation, initiated by you and moderated by Chad Finn, about a compelling topic in Boston sports. Here’s how it works: You submit questions to Chad through Twitter, Facebook, email, his Friday chat, and any other outlet you prefer. He’ll pick one each weekday to answer, then we’ll take the discussion to the comments. Chad will stop by several times per day to navigate. But you drive the conversation.
It probably would have been a no-brainer to trade Jayson Tatum for Ben Simmons during the regular season if, hypothetically, the possibility existed. But would the Celtics do it now? Simmons is great, but Tatum can actually shoot.
Well, acknowledging that Simmons is a much better player than he generally showed in the Sixers’ second-round loss to the Celtics, and that he’ll eventually learn to shoot competently, perhaps even with the correct hand, I would not trade Jayson Tatum straight up for him, and I don’t think the Celtics would either.
I’ll admit, one of my reasons is sort of a nostalgic one, which is strange to say about a player who has been a Celtic for just one season. It’s just that Tatum just went through a battle as a Celtic, one that ended in disappointment, but one in which he acquitted himself like a future superstar – and that future is arriving soon.
If you’re a Celtic fan and you watched the kid in the playoffs – especially the sequence in which he dunked in LeBron James’s face, then hit a 3 on the next possession to make you believe he was about to lead the Celtics to a Game 7 win – he’s one of your guys now. You want that bright future to be in green and white. Ask LeBron: Tatum is the next great Celtic.
Simmons is a wonderful player. He passes like Magic. He’s going to be a Celtics nemesis for years. Maybe he’ll win an MVP award someday. But I’ll tell you right now, Tatum has a chance to do the same. Maybe a better chance.
I wouldn’t trade him for Simmons. I’m going to enjoy watching Tatum be the one the Sixers let get away.
But what do you guys think? Would you trade Tatum for Simmons? (I don’t think you would.) I’ll hear you in the comments.