The past four seasons have made it clear who the best two players in the 2017 NBA Draft are.
If you’ve been paying any attention to the league, you’d know that Donovan Mitchell and Jayson Tatum are in their own separate class. These guys have been cooking up the league like a southern grandma on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.
They are the only two-time All-Stars from the class and both are averaging 26+ per game this season, though Mitchell is currently out with an ankle sprain..
Their career statistics stack up pretty well against each other.
Mitchell is giving you 23.4 points, 4.3 assists, and 4.1 rebounds per game over his career and he led the Jazz to the conference semis in his rookie year. He’s been in the playoffs every year since then, and now has his Utah team in first place in the Western Conference.
Tatum is averaging 18.9 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 2.6 assists per game. He’s helped lead the Celtics to two conference finals in three seasons. And Tatum made an All NBA squad in 2019-20.
So who would you take to build a franchise around?
They both have undeniable skill and shooting ability, Mitchell is more athletic but Tatum is taller and longer. They both have a killer mentality and have exceptional basketball IQ.
Neither one of these players would steer you wrong but Tatum is the best answer.
If you look at his game throughout his career he has the smoothest skill set between the two players. Tatum can get a shot from any three levels on the court at any time he wants. He also plays with more control. And what he lacks in athleticism compared to Mitchell, well, his length at 6’8 makes up for it. When you really analyze both of these player’s games it’s clear to me that Tatum gets his shot off easier than Mitchell and is just more offensively fluid than Mitchell.
He needs to improve his playmaking and leadership ability more but those have been rapidly improving as he starts to enter his prime.
It’s a hard question to tackle because you have to split hairs between two superstar-level players. But I think Tatum ultimately gives you the best chance to win a championship.