Gregg Popovich believes Jayson Tatum can become ‘genuine' two-way player


Gregg Popovich got to see Jayson Tatum up close and personal over the summer during the FIBA World Cup, and he came away impressed with what he saw.

Prior to Wednesday night's San Antonio Spurs-Boston Celtics matchup, Popovich had some high praise for the 21-year-old's developing all-around game.

"Let's just say that Jayson's probably surprised at the attention I gave him defensively," Popovich said. "But he responded magnificently and as I said, unfortunately got hurt just when I think he was understanding exactly how good a player he can be if he added that to his game. There aren't that many two-way players in the league -- genuine. Some think they are, but you can count them on one hand. And he's got the possibility to be one of those."

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Tatum has taken a huge step forward both offensively and defensively in Year 3 of his NBA career. Entering Wednesday night, he's averaging 21.1 points, 6.9 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game. 

There's still plenty of work to be done for the C's 2017 No. 3 overall draft pick. But when you're getting that kind of praise from a guy who coached one of the NBA's best two-way players in Kawhi Leonard, you're doing something right.

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