When Anthony Davis demanded a trade, the Boston Celtics have been urging the New Orleans Pelicans to wait for the 2019 NBA offseason to make a deal so that they could join the bidding. The Pelicans seemed to listen and refused to send Davis to the Los Angeles Lakers before the February NBA trade deadline despite offering their entire young core of Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma, Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart, and Ivica Zubac.
When Lakers President of Basketball Operations Magic Johnson pulled out from the trade negotiation with New Orleans, Pelicans General Manager Dell Demps reportedly had a conversation with the Celtics regarding a potential deal centered on Anthony Davis next summer. The Celtics didn’t promise the Pelicans any specific trade package, but they told them that no one on their roster is untouchable.
In the deal that would send Anthony Davis to Boston, most people expect the Celtics’ trade package to start with Jayson Tatum, the No. 3 overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft. Of all the Celtics’ young players, Tatum has shown the highest superstar potential. According to Tim MacMahon of ESPN (transcribed by HoopsHype), rumors and speculations are swirling that Tatum “wouldn’t mind” being traded for Davis and become the new face of the Pelicans’ franchise.
“It’s gossip, but the gossip is Jayson Tatum wouldn’t mind if he’s shipped to New Orleans and has a chance to be the face of the franchise somewhere. Because he’s not going to get that opportunity in Boston, at least not in the immediate future.”
Unlike Lakers' Lonzo Ball, Celtics' Jayson Tatum may not be opposed to a trade sending him to the Pelicans. He would enjoy being the face of the franchise.
— Bryan Kalbrosky (@BryanKalbrosky) February 11, 2019
Staying in Boston may give Jayson Tatum a higher chance of winning his first NBA championship title, but he will never be considered as the Celtics’ main guy as long as they have Kyrie Irving on their roster. With the Pelicans, Tatum has the opportunity to create a legacy and could become the first player to bring a Larry O’Brien Trophy in New Orleans. Last season, Tatum proved his capability to lead a team after helping the Celtics reach the Eastern Conference Finals despite losing Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward to injuries.
Trading Jayson Tatum is undeniably a tough decision for the Celtics but it will definitely be worth it if it means acquiring a player of Anthony Davis’ caliber. The acquisition of Davis may further convince Kyrie Irving to sign a long-term contract with the Celtics in the 2019 NBA free agency. The Celtics may not be on Davis’ list of preferred trade destination, but a successful season with Irving could be enough to change his mindset about staying in Boston.