Jayson Tatum

Jayson Tatum Says He Would Have Probably Still Played For Duke If The G League’s Professional Path Was Available When He Was Leaving High School
Jayson Tatum reckons he’d have still gone to college if the option of signing a $500,000 G League contract was on the table, but only because of what he knows now.
The Boston Celtics star, a first-time All-Star in 2020, joined the NBA as the third overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft on the back of a one-year stint with the Duke Blue Devils. An All-American in 2016, Tatum would have been nailed-on for a G League deal had the opportunity been available back then, but he went on to complete a one-and-done spell with Duke before declaring for the draft.
The 22-year-old forward recently joined former NBA stars Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson on their popular All the Smoke podcast and told the hosts he would have found it hard to resist a $500,000 offer as an 18-year-old but would still go on to play his basketball for the Blue Devils given what he knows now.
"It's tough because knowing what I know now, I think I still might have went to Duke,” he said in quotes transcribed by Bleacher Report. “But if you just rewind four years and I'm 18 coming out of high school from St. Louis and there's $500,000, I'm going right to the G League, for sure. ... They need to change in college. I think you should be able to make money off your likeness."
The G League made folks aware of its plan to introduce a “comprehensive professional path “ for high school graduates back in 2018, announcing that prep players could sign a $125,000 contract and begin a one-year training regimen to ready themselves for the NBA Draft as of the beginning of the 2019/20 season.
While the sum noted above seemed pretty attractive at the time, players did not bite until the League decided to offer more lucrative deals and, in April, Jalen Green became the first player to bypass college basketball for the G League’s professional pathway, signing a deal reported to be worth more than $500,000. That was a huge blow for the NCAA as the 18-year-old is ranked as the No.1 shooting guard in his recruiting class, per 247Sports, ESPN and Rivals.
Daishen Nix (No. 13) and Isaiah Todd (No. 27) have since made the jump to the G League and, this week, four-star prospect Kai Sotto announced he would be skipping college for the professional path as well, spurning several approaches from Division 1 programs.
The move by the NBA has forced the NCAA to reconsider its stance on player earnings and, last month, the collegiate body announced it will allow student-athletes to receive payments for third-party endorsements whether they’re related to athletics or not.
We might have a bit of a wait before we can see basketball again. However, fans and bettors could land NBA 2K League esports bets from various sportsbooks. UK esports enthusiasts should view this list of new free bets for new UK customers at Freebets.com. Celtics Crossover Gaming are +1500 to win the 2K League Championship but the Blazer5 Gaming are favorites at +220, with Mavs Gaming and 76ers GC following at +500 and +850, respectively.
There are no bets to be had on games while the NBA and NCAA remain inactive, yet bookmakers have come up with various ways to offer deals. The NBA’s HORSE tournament presented such an avenue last month and fans were handed several betting odds before the culmination of the tournament, which was won by Mike Conley of the Utah Jazz. Out of eight contestants, Conley was the fourth favourite to win at +450. Sportsbooks even found a way to offer punts for Michael Jordan’s The Last Dance documentary, placing odds on whether or not Jordan would cry or whether the word “gambling” would be used, among several other offers.
Where Tatum is concerned, the Celtics star was a +250 favourite to win the Most Improved Player Award prior to the season’s halt, having increased his scoring average to 23.6 points per game from the 15.7 PPG he recorded last term. The 6-8 forward was second only to the New Orleans Pelicans’ Brandon Ingram, who was at +175 to win the accolade.
Bam Adebayo of the Miami Heat was the third favourite at +300, with Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic in behind at +600. While there was no doubt in Doncic’s ability heading into his second season, Adebayo has been one of the biggest surprises of the year and his influence has helped the Heat to a 41-24 record for fourth place in the East. The former Kentucky University man was also named as an All-Star for the first time this campaign and won the Skills Challenge going in as the least favourite at +1000. Brooklyn Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie was the outright favourite at +400.