Analyst props up Jayson Tatum and Paolo Banchero at expense of two former MVPs

One analyst propped up Jayson Tatum and Paolo Banchero at the expense of two former MVPs.

Orlando Magic v Boston Celtics
Orlando Magic v Boston Celtics / Maddie Malhotra/GettyImages
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Boston.com's Tom Westerholm propped up Jayson Tatum and Paolo Banchero at the expense of Giannis Antetokounmpo and Joel Embiid; referring only to the first group as one that makes life easier for the front office employing them.

"Banchero has genuine superstar potential, as well as some of the flaws one would expect to see from a 21-year-old," Westerholm wrote. "We touched on Banchero’s similarities to Tatum, but we missed one: As he closes some of the gaps in his game, he has a chance to become the kind of superstar that is really easy to build around. Giannis Antetokounmpo and Joel Embiid are great, but players like Tatum and Banchero make a general manager’s job much easier."

On the surface, Westerholm's claim may seem sacrilege. How could it be true that players who create more of a gravitational pull and have more assists (Embiid, Antetokounmpo) not make life easier on roster-builders than two players who haven't reached their peaks yet?

Look deeper, and it's obvious.

Jayson Tatum and Paolo Banchero more malleable than Giannis Antetokounmpo and Joel Embiid

When it comes to Giannis and Embiid, the two former MVPs are the offensive systems that their employers deploy. They have to be. While Embiid can stand in the corner and hit threes if need be, his primary function is as a Pick and Roll man and as a back-to-the-basket iso weapon. Giannis, lacking the same spacing abilities, only serves the former function.

Tatum and Banchero, meanwhile, can take a backseat to co-stars Jaylen Brown and Franz Wagner, respectively, and would likely have no problem ceding the No. 1 spot on the totem pole if it meant winning it all.

The Embiid-James Harden experiment ultimately didn't work out on the court or off the floor, and thus far, Giannis has said the Milwaukee Bucks were Damian Lillard's following the former Portland Trail Blazers star's arrival to the Cream City, but the stats haven't bore that out, even if the Bucks are winning.

Winning for now. Once those cracks show in the postseason, things may be different. Even though there's been a forced narrative that the Celtics have cracks in their own foundation because of the Tatum-Brown dynamic, Boston has survived adversity in ways Embiid and Antetokounmpo's teams have not, or have yet to experience.