Although the Boston Celtics have consistently been linked to Anthony Davis, even well before his request to be traded by the New Orleans Pelicans became official, the team likely won’t be able to trade for the superstar big man until the summer of 2019. Several of the Celtics’ young core players, including second-year forward Jayson Tatum, have been named as potential trade pieces in their pursuit of Davis, and as far as the former Duke standout is concerned, it’s actually a good thing to be part of such trade rumors.
As quoted by Bleacher Report, Tatum commented on Wednesday about the rumors suggesting that he could be one of multiple players and other assets sent to the Pelicans in exchange for Davis. The 20-year-old forward said that he isn’t thinking about what the future may hold for him in the NBA, as he is instead “[focusing] on today” and only trying to control the things he can control. He also opened up on what he feels about the rumors specifically linking him to Davis.
“It’s good to be wanted. I guess you can say that.”
With seven seasons of NBA experience since being drafted first overall in 2012, Anthony Davis has averaged 29.3 points, 13.3 rebounds, 4.4 assists, 1.7 steals, and 2.6 blocks per game for the New Orleans Pelicans, but has also missed 11 games due to assorted injuries since the start of the 2018-19 season, per Basketball-Reference. As opined by Bleacher Report, adding Davis to the Celtics means no one “should be off the table,” even if it’s someone like Tatum, who was picked third overall in the 2017 NBA Draft.
Talking about the prospect of the Celtics including Tatum in a trade package for Davis, Bleacher Report wrote that he could potentially make a good addition due to his “All-Star upside.” Tatum has, however, had an up-and-down sophomore campaign in the NBA, averaging 16.2 points and 6.2 rebounds, but also seeing his field goal and three-point shooting percentages tick downward. Likewise, the publication mentioned how the Celtics, who fell just one game short of the NBA Finals last season, are still fifth in the Eastern Conference despite an ongoing stretch where they have won six out of the last seven games.
Regardless of whether the Boston Celtics dangle Jayson Tatum as part of a potential Anthony Davis deal or not, there’s still a very good chance Tatum will finish the current season in Boston. NBC Sports Boston recently explained that the Celtics, in most cases, cannot trade for Davis due to the “Derrick Rose rule,” which, in part, prevents teams from having two maximum-contract players who had just come off their rookie deals. That means the Celtics will have to include Kyrie Irving in a trade package for Davis if they want to acquire him before the February 7 trade deadline, though NBC Sports Boston stressed that this may be highly unlikely.