In comparison to the 21-year-olds, the age-22 bracket had a much more competitive field as far as selecting its best player, but ultimately, we had to go with Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum, who is managing to get better annually with no end to this upward trajectory in sight.
Thus far this season, Tatum is putting up 26.9 points (the No. 8 mark league-wide), 7.1 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game on an outstanding 58.8 true shooting percentage. What’s more, among players with at least 75 three-point attempts this season, Tatum sits No. 3 in accuracy at 43.8 percent, and when you consider the degree of difficulty on his average shot attempt, that clip only looks all the more impressive.
Perhaps the most ridiculous aspect of Tatum’s point-producing prowess is the fact that he’s putting up almost 27 points nightly while shooting fewer than four free-throws per contest. Tatum’s 3.6 nightly free throw is the second-lowest free-throw average of any player averaging over 25 points per game.
If Tatum ever figures out how to draw a fairer whistle (although in fairness, even with his current perimeter-oriented play style, there’s no way Tatum shouldn’t be getting to the line more often), we could someday be looking at a 30-plus-point-per-game scorer and maybe even an MVP candidate.
Honorable mentions: Trae Young, Jarrett Allen, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Deandre Ayton, Collin Sexton