Celtics’ Jayson Tatum felt snubbed by Lakers in 2017 NBA draft: ‘They didn’t want anything to do with me’

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Boston Celtics star Jayson Tatum is close to winning his first NBA title and the franchise’s record 18th. Despite the success, Tatum recently revealed his disappointment at getting snubbed by the Los Angeles Lakers in the 2017 NBA Draft.

The Lakers missed the playoffs this season, but Tatum told ESPN in an interview published Wednesday that his dreams of playing for Los Angeles came to a crushing end when they passed on him for Lonzo Ball.

Lonzo Ball walks on stage with NBA commissioner Adam Silver after being drafted second overall by the Los Angeles Lakers during the first round of the 2017 NBA Draft at Barclays Center June 22, 2017, in New York City.
(Mike Stobe / Getty Images)

“The Lakers were my favorite team, and Kobe was my favorite player,” Tatum told ESPN. “So it was crazy that the Lakers had the second pick, and I was so close to a dream come true. But it was just like they didn’t want anything to do with me at the time.”

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Tatum was drafted by the Celtics, who traded down from the No. 1 pick to No. 3. But the fifth-year veteran still remembers what one scout told him after a pre-draft workout.

Jayson Tatum (0) of the Boston Celtics shoots over Jimmy Butler (22) of the Miami Heat during the fourth quarter in Game 1 of the 2022 NBA Eastern Conference finals at FTX Arena May 17, 2022, in Miami, Fla.

Jayson Tatum (0) of the Boston Celtics shoots over Jimmy Butler (22) of the Miami Heat during the fourth quarter in Game 1 of the 2022 NBA Eastern Conference finals at FTX Arena May 17, 2022, in Miami, Fla.
(Michael Reaves / Getty Images)

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“I remember one of the (Boston) scouts came up to me and said, ‘That was a great workout. I’m excited for you. But we got the No. 1 pick, so we’re not going to pick you.

“He still works for the Celtics now, so I f — with him all the time.”

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Jayson Tatum of the Boston Celtics during Game 1 of the 2022 NBA Eastern Conference finals May 17, 2022, at The FTX Arena in Miami, Fla.

Jayson Tatum of the Boston Celtics during Game 1 of the 2022 NBA Eastern Conference finals May 17, 2022, at The FTX Arena in Miami, Fla.
(Jesse D. Garrabrant / NBAE via Getty Images)

That decision panned out well for Boston.

The Celtics host the Warriors Wednesday at 9 pm ET with the series tied at one game apiece.

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