Tatum or Ant?

Who would you rather build your team around?


  • Total voters
    232

the moops

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Isn't this actually kind of simple?
2024 only: you take Tatum
2024 through somewhere in the 2028-2029 range: you probably take Tatum
Entire remainder of career: you probably take Ant
Don't think it is that simple at all. There is a world where Tatum is the answer for all those, and a different bizarro world where Ant is the answer
 

Devizier

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It’s largely meaningless to compare players on their developmental curve, because it can go in all sorts of directions
 

lovegtm

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Just so people know I'm not a blind Tatum homer, I thought that
- his Miami series was great
- that first Cleveland game was very subpar

His FG% was bad/meh in both cases, but against Miami, he was consistently drawing guys to the ball, manipulating the defense, and forcing rotation. Once he tore that apart, Spoelstra stuck Bam on him, he moved into decoy mode, and the other guys cooked.

Against Cleveland, he didn't force tons of extra help. They mostly handled him, he missed a lot of shots, and wasn't a consistent problem. I expect him to improve, but it was not a great offensive game.

(He was good defensively and on the glass, which always helps his value in general, since those things are low-variance.)
 

Auger34

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I’ve got to ask about the rebounding thing specifically as it relates to this Cleveland game because a lot of posters have brought it up.

Were any of those rebounds because Tatum was doing anything special? It seems like most of them were a function of the defense they were playing where Tatum was closest to the basket.

Not a great example, but Kornet was awesome on the boards tonight in a way that stood out. I didn’t really notice anything like that with Tatum (or any other player sans Kornet).

I thought Tatum was good overall against Miami, and I thought he was good to very good on defense tonight. He kind of noticeably stunk on offense. He had some good passes and set some players up but the majority of the offense was White and Brown (Beige Bros) creating.
 

lovegtm

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I’ve got to ask about the rebounding thing specifically as it relates to this Cleveland game because a lot of posters have brought it up.

Were any of those rebounds because Tatum was doing anything special? It seems like most of them were a function of the defense they were playing where Tatum was closest to the basket.

Not a great example, but Kornet was awesome on the boards tonight in a way that stood out. I didn’t really notice anything like that with Tatum (or any other player sans Kornet).

I thought Tatum was good overall against Miami, and I thought he was good to very good on defense tonight. He kind of noticeably stunk on offense. He had some good passes and set some players up but the majority of the offense was White and Brown (Beige Bros) creating.
No time to find examples now, but he definitely had some value-add rebounds where he was part of an overall focus to clean up the defensive boards. Because he's tall and strong, he's good at that focus.
 

reggiecleveland

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Tatum gets almost all the uncontested defensive boards. I recall him being annoyed because Tristan Thompson wanted the stats too. A year or so ago I did a post about how the % of rebounds that are offensive has declined steadily to the point defensive rebounding stats for individuals are almost meaningless. Westbook's triple doubles were lame becasue of this.

My take on the comparison is the that NBA observers love the angry, hyper-competitive guy that can go get his own shot in the model of Jordan, maybe too much. This preference leads to Kobe being massively overrated and Lebron, Magic, being underrated. Ant has those beloved qualities, whereas Tatum is better when he doesn't play that way. Tatum's game tonight is classic example of his all around play, where he didn't score a lot because they didn't need him to score a lot.

If the Celtics and Wolves can play three finals against each other this matchup will be a lot like, and maybe just as good as Bird vs Magic.
 

JakeRae

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We can just pin this to the top and close down the thread. @JakeRae is saying exactly the same thing too.
Yep. HRB’s clarification puts us pretty much in the same place. If you forced me to choose today it would really depend on team context. If my team is a contender, I’d take Tatum. Put differently, I would not trade Tatum for Ant straight up if I were Brad Stevens. On the other side of this, I also don’t think I would trade Ant for Tatum if I were running the Wolves. And I suspect that if I thought about it for most NBA situations, I’d take the upside of Ant. (If I were Philly or OKC, however, and you told me I could use my cap space this offseason on one of them, it would be Tatum. But if you gave me that choice as the Spurs it would definitely be Ant.)
 

Imbricus

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I'm sure I'm not the only one to notice: in round two series, first game, the #1 in the East and the West beat their #4-#5 by almost identical scores. Boston over Cleveland, 120-95, and OKC over Dallas, 117-95. Symmetry.

Edit: oops, meant to post this in Cavs vs. Celts thread.
 

Eddie Jurak

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Isn't this actually kind of simple?
2024 only: you take Tatum
2024 through somewhere in the 2028-2029 range: you probably take Tatum
Entire remainder of career: you probably take Ant
Don't think it is that simple at all. There is a world where Tatum is the answer for all those, and a different bizarro world where Ant is the answer
If we are just talking about the first 6 playoff games of 2024, I don't think there's a serious argument to be made that Tatum has been the better player or that it is even a close question. At the end of the day, no one will or should care about the first 6 playoff games, of course, but so far it is what it is.
 

HomeRunBaker

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I’ve got to ask about the rebounding thing specifically as it relates to this Cleveland game because a lot of posters have brought it up.

Were any of those rebounds because Tatum was doing anything special? It seems like most of them were a function of the defense they were playing where Tatum was closest to the basket.

Not a great example, but Kornet was awesome on the boards tonight in a way that stood out. I didn’t really notice anything like that with Tatum (or any other player sans Kornet).

I thought Tatum was good overall against Miami, and I thought he was good to very good on defense tonight. He kind of noticeably stunk on offense. He had some good passes and set some players up but the majority of the offense was White and Brown (Beige Bros) creating.
Tatum is to uncontested rebounds what Pritchard is to garbage time offense. It’s not a criticism but to look at raw rebounding numbers without this context is missing a lot of what’s actually occuring. This doesn’t make him a poor rebounder but let’s understand how things work here.
 

Devizier

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I think the context argument is the one here.

Also, exciting for the beleaguered Timberwolves franchise that they have an entire team clicking as a bonafide contender. This isn’t a redux of the Garnett years.
 

lovegtm

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Been a couple weeks since anyone posted in this thread. Did anything happen in the meantime?
 

Euclis20

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He just had his best game in awhile (26/9/9 on not terrible shooting), but this might be a long summer for the "Ant is the next MJ" takes if this is how he goes out. Over their last 6 games:

Ant: 21.2/6.8/7.3, 2.7 turnovers on .494 TS, 2-4 record (negative +/- in all 4 losses)
Tatum: 31.0/10.2/6.2, 3.0 turnovers on .594 TS, 6-0 record (no negative +/- games)

The door isn't closed on Minnesota winning a game or two and Ant salvaging this (and it did look like he may have figured something out in the 2nd half of game 3), but regression to the mean has hit him hard.

On the other hand, see how good he looks:

View: https://twitter.com/TheDunkCentral/status/1794908285398905001
 

Kliq

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I kind of feel bad for Ant and Minnesota fans. It's been a real hard fall for him over the past week, mainly due to people overreacting and anointing him as the new face of the league, none of which is his fault. I don't know how the "next Jordan" thing started, but it was unfortunate for him that it did because it was always destined to people using it to crack on him. It's not his fault he played really well against Denver and carries himself with the kind of confidence and swagger everyone wants their top star to do so.

Right now he is bigger Donovan Mitchell. That's really good for a 22 year old.
 

DannyDarwinism

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I missed this when it happened live, but this lack of effort and focus in a must-win game, tied with 4 minutes left is big, huge yikes:

https://x.com/justinmacmahan/status/1794953940317986816?s=46

When he has the confidence and energy he had for a couple of minutes after his dunk, he’s unstoppable. No one can keep up the juice for a full game, but he’s got to learn how to impact the game and focus on the details when it’s not there.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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Its too bad Ant's career is already over. I get that we mark-to-market after each datapoint but once again, Ant is 22 years old and got a janky roster to the WCF coming out of an almost indisputably tough field even accounting for injuries. Maybe he is JAG going forward but my view is that as long as he is healthy he is going to be one of the top players in the league for the next ~decade.

Maybe you don't want him over Tatum now but are you 100% willing to say that will always be the case?
 

DannyDarwinism

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The method of following up a ridiculous strawman with a completely anodyne counter to it is so exhausting.
 

RorschachsMask

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Its too bad Ant's career is already over. I get that we mark-to-market after each datapoint but once again, Ant is 22 years old and got a janky roster to the WCF coming out of an almost indisputably tough field even accounting for injuries. Maybe he is JAG going forward but my view is that as long as he is healthy he is going to be one of the top players in the league for the next ~decade.

Maybe you don't want him over Tatum now but are you 100% willing to say that will always be the case?
I mean the most negative post about him said he may be closer to a first ballot HOF’er in Vince Carter, than he is Jordan lol.

Most posters here said Ant may have a higher ceiling than Tatum, but it seems the issue for most of us was how dismissive media members were being about them right now.
 

lovegtm

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Its too bad Ant's career is already over. I get that we mark-to-market after each datapoint but once again, Ant is 22 years old and got a janky roster to the WCF coming out of an almost indisputably tough field even accounting for injuries. Maybe he is JAG going forward but my view is that as long as he is healthy he is going to be one of the top players in the league for the next ~decade.

Maybe you don't want him over Tatum now but are you 100% willing to say that will always be the case?
I was merely pointing out how dumb these wild swings in opinion are.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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The method of following up a ridiculous strawman with a completely anodyne counter to it is so exhausting.
I am sorry its exhausting but the Ant backlash is silly too. Edwards is clearly a very good player but there are people here rooting for him to fail because some person whose career is built on stoking controversy trolled everyone into the false debates of Edwards v Tatum or whether Edwards is the next Jordan. So every thread here on these series includes posts rebutting those two silly takes that nobody really believes.

From where I sit, you shouldn't be mad at my post. You should absolutely hate this thread - its kind of a dumb debate.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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I was merely pointing out how dumb these wild swings in opinion are.
I picked up what you are putting down. I was kind of doing the same while calling out no one in particular but all of us.

Edwards vs Tatum is the stupidest choice ever because its not realistic and its not good faith.
 

BigSoxFan

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Ant is clearly a very talented guy going through some growing pains. The real question for me isn’t Ant vs Tatum or whoever, it’s who is the best complement to Ant? Towns ain’t it for me so who is the best attainable guy to pair with Ant?
 

RorschachsMask

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Ant is clearly a very talented guy going through some growing pains. The real question for me isn’t Ant vs Tatum or whoever, it’s who is the best complement to Ant? Towns ain’t it for me so who is the best attainable guy to pair with Ant?
I’m not saying he is that guy, though I think his playmaking and shot making would fit them well. But I wouldn’t be surprised to see Towns for Ingram rumors this summer.
 

BigSoxFan

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I’m not saying he is that guy, though I think his playmaking and shot making would fit them well. But I wouldn’t be surprised to see Towns for Ingram rumors this summer.
Yeah, the lack of a 2nd playmaker has really hurt them. Makes it too easy for teams to focus on Ant at the end of games.
 

lovegtm

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Yeah, the lack of a 2nd playmaker has really hurt them. Makes it too easy for teams to focus on Ant at the end of games.
It's too bad that they didn't have any draft assets they could have used to fix this.
 

benhogan

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Ok now it's Gobert led them to the WC finals...trying to keep up with all the Wolves' roster takes is dizzying

Somewhere between brilliantly constructed to stop the Denver Spurs to
AntMan + a Janky roster
 

the moops

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Ok now it's Gobert led them to the WC finals...trying to keep up with all the Wolves' roster takes is dizzying

Somewhere between brilliantly constructed to stop the Denver Spurs to
AntMan + a Janky roster
Led them? No but his defense still to this day goes under appreciated even in here. The numbers were staggering against Denver. You seem cranky
 

benhogan

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Led them? No but his defense still to this day goes under appreciated even in here. The numbers were staggering against Denver. You seem cranky
Rudy's +/- has been nothing short of spectacular these playoffs (& season), so he's not exacting "killing them" when he plays. But the Wolves front court and D were fine in G2 (he was OUT) so KAT/Naz/Slo Mo upfront may have been enough.
 

slamminsammya

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I think it might just be a really good team whose best player is shooting 13% from deep with lots of good looks in there. The series has been decided by 14 points, I think these are very closely matched teams.
 

benhogan

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This is my quote. What issue do you take with it?
Its too bad Ant's career is already over. I get that we mark-to-market after each datapoint but once again, Ant is 22 years old and got a janky roster to the WCF coming out of an almost indisputably tough field even accounting for injuries. Maybe he is JAG going forward but my view is that as long as he is healthy he is going to be one of the top players in the league for the next ~decade.

Maybe you don't want him over Tatum now but are you 100% willing to say that will always be the case?
This entire post is a hot mess of straw man arguments & sanctimonious lecturing.

In particular, the Wolves roster is far from janky (that sounds pretty hot take-ish from the MAVs series)

Could it be better if they didn't go pick-a-palooza for Gobert? absolutely.
BUT there are several good players that know their roles around Ant.
 
Last edited:

Jimbodandy

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I’m not saying he is that guy, though I think his playmaking and shot making would fit them well. But I wouldn’t be surprised to see Towns for Ingram rumors this summer.
KAT for Ingram would be awesome. Two very skilled guys with great size who know well how to completely disappear. They're both on the first team all disappointing team. I'd be looking for a guy or guys with some consistency to pair with Ant, if I ran that team.

Edit: it auto corrected to Imgram which conjured a hilarious image of Brandon as a furry.
 

DannyDarwinism

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KAT for Ingram would be awesome. Two very skilled guys with great size who know well how to completely disappear. They're both on the first team all disappointing team. I'd be looking for a guy or guys with some consistency to pair with Ant, if I ran that team.

Edit: it auto corrected to Imgram which conjured a hilarious image of Brandon as a furry.
Speaking of Ingram, this thread got me thinking of all the heated “would you take Tatum vs player X” guys over the years. The original, if I recall correctly, was Ben Simmons. Ingram isn’t particularly close. Booker’s probably the closest. Kyle Kuzma (yes, this was a thing) is definitely the funniest. Fultz never even got off the tarmac.Our friends up north had Siakam up there at one point. There’s probably a couple of more I’m forgetting. Lest we take JT’s steady growth from his initial precociousness for granted…
 

kfoss99

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Towns makes $47 mm, $53mm, and $57mm over the next three years. With the new TV contract, it might not be so bad. It's not exactly enticing, though.

Edit: this assumes he doesn't get hot and turn the tide for the Wolves in their upcoming game(s).
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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This entire post is a hot mess of straw man arguments & sanctimonious lecturing.

In particular, the Wolves roster is far from janky (that sounds pretty hot take-ish from the MAVs series)

Could it be better if they didn't go pick-a-palooza for Gobert? absolutely.
BUT there are several good players that know their roles around Ant.
You spend most of your time here dragging others, including Tim Connelly last week and you take issue with my post?

The TWolves roster is not optimized for this level of play because they need more scoring but can't afford to trade off defense. They are probably one to two players and another Edwards season or two away from being a real problem. Janky may not be the right term and I didn't throw shade at any of their players.

As for the rest, I stand by what I said. Its better than content aggregation or laughing and pointing at everyone else when they experience bad outcomes. You sure do like to talk about everything except hoops.
 

PedroKsBambino

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The Wolves have a pretty high level of talent, but I agree-it’s kind of a mess of a roster.

1. They have max two guys whose best position is center.
2. They have only one real passer, and he’s old
3. They have only one perimeter creator (KAT kinda sorta can be sometimes, as well?). That’s not what the NBA today wants
4. They essentially don’t have any developmental guys
5. While they have a bunch of interesting role guys (NAW, Reid, Slo Mo) they are not great fits for what the stars bring and need to support them

Connelly has built up a talented group and they are in WCF. They knocked off Denver. Those things ain’t nothing…but it is still a strange roster

And I like both of you guys posting here often, just to note it!!!
 

Auger34

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You spend most of your time here dragging others, including Tim Connelly last week and you take issue with my post?

The TWolves roster is not optimized for this level of play because they need more scoring but can't afford to trade off defense. They are probably one to two players and another Edwards season or two away from being a real problem. Janky may not be the right term and I didn't throw shade at any of their players.

As for the rest, I stand by what I said. Its better than content aggregation or laughing and pointing at everyone else when they experience bad outcomes. You sure do like to talk about everything except hoops.
You really think you have the high ground here? And you’re really saying dragging TIM CONNOLLY helps?

I’m going to stop here because it’s not about hoops but if you want to go down this road I will post more.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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You really think you have the high ground here? And you’re really saying dragging TIM CONNOLLY helps?

I’m going to stop here because it’s not about hoops but if you want to go down this road I will post more.
I don't occupy any ground but do whatever you feel is necessary here.

People here flooding the threads reacting to the media comparing Edwards to MJ and contrasting him with Tatum like anybody here is making those cases. The whole argument is stupid and my post which was not @ either of you, clearly was a bridge too far. I stand by it

Keep going if you want - I stand by what I said. Nobody here is arguing for Edwards over Tatum. Its a false construct designed to get people chattering. It worked because people are clearly very upset by it.
 

benhogan

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You spend most of your time here dragging others, including Tim Connelly last week and you take issue with my post?

The TWolves roster is not optimized for this level of play because they need more scoring but can't afford to trade off defense. They are probably one to two players and another Edwards season or two away from being a real problem. Janky may not be the right term and I didn't throw shade at any of their players.

As for the rest, I stand by what I said. Its better than content aggregation or laughing and pointing at everyone else when they experience bad outcomes. You sure do like to talk about everything except hoops.
Gobert trade was an overpay then & now. There has been some revisionist history by the NBA media in regards to that trade IMO. If that is dragging Tim Connelly, then I'm guilty.

When people post articles from the Athletic, Timpf, Thinking Basketball, etc. it adds value to the Cellar.
I suggest you ignore outside content if you don't enjoy it

Your ad hominem attacks are cringy & silly. Nobody wants to read them
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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Gobert trade was an overpay then & now. There has been some revisionist history by the NBA media in regards to that trade IMO. If that is dragging Tim Connelly, then I'm guilty.

When people post articles from the Athletic, Timpf, Thinking Basketball, etc. it adds value to the Cellar.
I suggest you ignore outside content if you don't enjoy it

Your ad hominem attacks are cringy & silly. Nobody wants to read them
I deal in facts. I used the term "janky" in my stand alone post which you cited while making fun of my take. I haven't attacked anyone, ad hominemly or not.
 

InstaFace

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As for the rest, I stand by what I said. Its better than content aggregation or laughing and pointing at everyone else when they experience bad outcomes.
Whoa whoa whoa there. What could be better than content aggregation? Without that, we hardly have a SoSH! We built this city on rock and roll content aggregation and the grinding of petty grudges. Come for the analytics, stay for the guys willing to start a digital bar fight to defend the honor of Tim Connelly.
 

benhogan

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Whoa whoa whoa there. What could be better than content aggregation? Without that, we hardly have a SoSH! We built this city on rock and roll content aggregation and the grinding of petty grudges. Come for the analytics, stay for the guys willing to start a digital bar fight to defend the honor of Tim Connelly.
that's it I'm going for the pillow I've drooled into for the last 10 years, that bad boy weighs at least 20 pounds
 

benhogan

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Massive, great for getting you past Denver, not so great when the other C can move.
Lore and Rodriguez rendered a budget projection as potential majority owners that would have lowered the Timberwolves' payroll to $171 million beginning next season, which is below the projected $172 million luxury tax threshold

Not sure how they pull that one off, unless they just punt KAT or Rudy

https://basketball.realgm.com/wiretap/275283/Marc-Lore-Alex-Rodriguez-Reportedly-Planned-To-Reduce-Wolves-Payroll-Below-Luxury-Tax