Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Jayson Tatum, Kemba Walker make ESPN's 50-11 'Best Players'

The Celtics can now say they have five players ranked on's 100 Best NBA Players list, after parts two and three were released on Tuesday and Wednesday respectively .

Brad Stevens clearly won't lack depth this season, despite the Celtics roster going through many changes over the summer. Its no surprise that Jayson Tatum and Kemba Walker both landed in the top half of the overall players selected.

On Monday, Marcus Smart, Gordon Hayward and Jaylen Brown were named in part one of ESPN's yearly countdown.

Here's what was said about Tatum, who was ranked lower this time around than a year ago and Walker, who was actually ranked higher than he was prior to the start of last season.

JAYSON TATUM - No.35 (No. 25 in 2018):

"The Celtics need more from Tatum, who had an electric rookie season in 2017-18, culminating with a dunk over his childhood idol, LeBron James, in the Eastern Conference finals," said Jackie MacMullan. "Tatum did not build on that success, appearing, at times, curiously passive in 2018-19 and exhibiting occasional defensive indifference."

KEMBA WALKER - No. 17 (No. 26 in 2018):

"Just how good is Walker? We are about to find out. For years, he has been stuck in the definition of basketball purgatory in Charlotte," writes Tim Bontemps. "Joining the Celtics this summer as a free agent puts him at the helm of a vastly more talented team. And it will engender comparisons to Kyrie Irving all season."

The Celtics will look to bounce back after a 49-33 record and a fourth seed finish in a disappointing 2018-19 campaign, but without the pressure to win the East from a season ago.

Media Day for the C's will be on Monday Sept. 30 and training camp gets underway on Oct. 1.

For those keeping track, former Celtics All-Stars Al Horford landed at No. 37, while Kyrie Irving is considered the No.11th best player in the league this upcoming season.

Joel Pavón

Picture used courtesy of Clutch Points

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