Back in June, the Boston Celtics sent the top overall pick to the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for the 3rd overall pick. Those picks would turn into Markelle Fultz for the 76ers and Jayson Tatum for the Celtics, forever linking the two young players. From now on, there will always be a debate, as there usually is when it comes to trading these high positioned draft picks, on who won the trade and who looks like the big fool. This would be the second time this decade that the Celtics are involved in a big trade, the other is the Nets trade. These kinds of trades usually cannot declare a winner until a few years down the road, but it looks like that now, Boston won the trade.
Through the first three games of the season, Markelle Fultz has averaged 7.3 points per game on 34.8% shooting. He also has averaged 2.3 rebounds a game and 1.3 assists a game and his team has not yet won a game. For Tatum, he is averaging 12.3 points on 40.7% shooting and 9 rebounds and 1.7 assists a game. Yes, I know it is only 3 games into the season for those two, but the early numbers are pointing in favor of Jayson Tatum and the Celtics when it comes to who won the trade. A reason for the lower averages for Fultz compared to Tatum, could be that Tatum is starting for the Celtics and averaging more minutes, while Fultz has to come off the bench for the 76ers.
In the first matchup between the two on October 20th, the Celtics would go on to win the game and Tatum would have 15 points and 8 rebounds, while Fultz had 6 points 3 assists and one rebound. So round one of many more rounds goes to Tatum and the Celtics.
Unless something happens to Tatum, I believe that the Celtics have gotten the better end of this trade. The production for him is there and it is very evident that his hard work is paying off with the coaches since he is averaging 35.3 minutes a game. Which makes him one of the few rookies right now to average over 35 minutes. The next closest rookie in minutes to him would be Fultz’s teammate Ben Simmons at exactly 35 minutes per game. As for Fultz, he is only averaging 19.7 minutes a game, which is not bad for a rookie, but you would think that the top overall pick would be getting a little more playing time and possibly averaging better stats.
Like I said earlier, it is only three games into the season and it is a long season, so who knows what could happen down the road for either team, but as of right now Boston is winning the debate on who won the trade and it’s a big margin in my mind.