“We (are) talking about a guy who could arguably be the second-best guy in the Eastern Conference right now, behind Giannis (Antetokounmpo),” Perkins said on Dale and Keefe on Thursday. “And I’m watching this kid play and the things that he’s doing (are) on another level.
“The thing that made me realize that he has taken that elite step is that over the course of these games, he’s done it against the Clippers, who are supposed to be a great defensive team, he’s done it against the Lakers, he went in Utah and (did) it. These are top-10 teams in the league in the defensive categories. When you (are) putting on a clinic like that on a bigger stage, you know this guy is elite.”
By slotting Tatum behind Antetikounmpo among the conference’s best players, the Celtics wing easily makes Perkins’ list of top-10 players in the NBA. With that being the case, Perkins has inserted Tatum in another conversation.
“Anytime you reach that top-10 list of best NBA players, to me, you enter that MVP conversation,” Perkins said. “At the end of the day, right now, we can’t name 10 players that (are) better than Jayson Tatum. So, to me, he’s in that MVP conversation.”