When Anthony Davis demanded a trade, the New Orleans Pelicans made it clear to the entire league that they are not in a rush to make a deal, opening up the possibility that they could wait for the summer of 2019 to move the All-Star big man so NBA teams like the Boston Celtics could join the pursuit. The Los Angeles Lakers looked determined to acquire Davis before the February NBA trade and offered their entire young core of Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma, Lonzo Ball, Ivica Zubac, and Josh Hart.
However, the Lakers’ improved trade package was not enough to convince the Pelicans to send Anthony Davis to Los Angeles. After Pelicans General Manager Dell Demps asked for more trade assets in return, the Lakers reportedly pulled out from the negotiation. If Davis saga continues until the 2019 NBA offseason, it is highly likely that the Pelicans superstar will end up being traded to the Celtics.
In the potential deal involving Anthony Davis, the Celtics are believed to be the only NBA team that can beat the Lakers in terms of trade assets. After the Lakers backed out with the trade negotiation with New Orleans, Sam Amick of The Athletic reported that the Celtics and the Pelicans have discussed the idea of sending Anthony Davis to Boston for a trade package centered on Jayson Tatum, the No. 3 overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, next summer.
“A source with knowledge of the talks said the potential centerpiece in a Pelicans package, 20-year-old Celtics small forward Jayson Tatum, has been discussed extensively by the two teams and is expected to be a major part of the talks when June rolls around.”
— Firstpost Sports (@FirstpostSports) February 6, 2019
Jayson Tatum will undeniably be an incredible acquisition for the Pelicans, giving them the centerpiece of the title-contending team that they are planning to build. Tatum was one of the young players who stepped up and led the Celtics to the Eastern Conference Finals last season despite not having Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward on their roster. However, based on the Pelicans’ current asking price, there is a huge possibility that the Celtics will also be needing to include Jaylen Brown and multiple first-round picks in the potential deal.
When Anthony Davis became officially available on the trading block, Celtics President of Basketball Operations and General Manager Danny Ainge has also already said that they are willing to trade anyone on their roster, except Kyrie Irving. The Celtics have a strong belief that the successful acquisition of Davis will give them a higher chance of re-signing Irving in the 2019 NBA free agency.