Raw plus-minus is misleading or even useless. It has become an argument to silence all critics ("but his plus-minus!") - and while we can acknowledge that Jayson does a lot of things right, especially on defense, we also have to criticize him.
It's his third season, and his offense has not progressed as much as we hoped. Actually, it has barely progressed at all. He is at .493 TS% right now, this is close to 7% below league average, yet we say "I like his confidence", "Good that he is still being aggressive" - if an opponent did that, we would label him a chucker. And I know that this is not a totally fair label as Tatum plays within the flow of the offense, but at the same time, he is a detriment on this side of the game right now, I don't care what raw plus-minus says.
It is right that much of his numbers will normalize with larger sample size - but they are also a reflection of glaring flaws in his game, flaws which will persist if he doesn't improve. Apart from one miraculous playoff run, Tatum has not shown he can be an efficient volume scorer. He has barely any playmaking instincts, he doesn't know how to utilize angles around the rim, his drives are unsophisticated and predictable.
And the worst thing which should be mentioned more: His Free Throw Rate is at a career low (.198). If he wants to become a dependable scorer, this is something he has to learn, there is no way around it, 3 or 4 free throws a game are not sufficient, and he has not made any progress in this regard since he entered the league despite vows to improve in this area.
I know he is somewhat of a holy cow for some and don't get me wrong, he is still obviously a net-positive player, but we should stop citing **** like unadjusted +/- to prove that he is somehow playing at an all-star level right now. He is not. Tatum can still become great, sometimes you only need that last 5% to explode, and at the age of 21, I am fine with betting on his development for the next years. But as of now, he is the fifth best player on our team. Kemba, Smart, Jaylen and Hayward are better.