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, and email. 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.
Who would you rather have for the rest of their careers, Jaylen Brown or Jayson Tatum?
This one doesn’t come from a reader, but rather from a discussion at the Globe Sports holiday party the other night. (Frankly, it should have been on pay-per-view. We’d have made at least $9.95.) The conversation, which included a couple of our Celtics writers, was pretty much split down the middle on whether Tatum or Brown has the better long-term future.
The majority thought Brown – who is averaging a career-high 19.3 points per game, has improved virtually every aspect of his game, and could be in line for an All-Star berth here in his fourth season – is the player to go with now. There have been a lot of satisfying things about this Celtics season so far, 24 games and 17 wins into the thing, but Brown’s improvement in so many areas might top the list.
Tatum’s progress hasn’t been as linear as Brown’s, and in some areas he’s regressed, at least temporarily. He’s averaging 20.6 points, 7 rebounds, and 2.9 assists per outing, all career-bests. But he’s shooting 40.6 percent, down from 45 percent last season, and he’s still struggling to finish at the rim. But his offensive skill-set and size suggest that with age and experience he could become one of the league’s most prolific scorers.
What’s indisputable is that they’re both superb young players with All-Star futures, and they’re both beginning to meet the high end of expectations that came with their No. 3 overall draft positions.
Which one would you take long-term if you could keep just one? I think my pick is Brown because of his defensive tenacity … but Tatum puts in the work on that end of the court too. Tough call, and a lovely problem to have. Yeah, I’ll go Brown. I’ll also reserve the right to change my mind.
What does everyone else think? If you could keep just one player for the rest of his career, which would it be, Jayson or Jaylen? I’ll hear you in the comments.