The New Orleans Pelicans and Boston Celtics have reportedly "extensively" discussed Jayson Tatum as a part of a potential trade package for Anthony Davis.
Sam Amick of The Athletic reported Tatum will be "a major part" of trade talks if Davis is still on the Pelicans following Thursday's NBA trade deadline. The Pelicans are expected to keep negotiations open for a trade up to the deadline, particularly with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times reported the Lakers pulled out of negotiations Tuesday due to "outrageous" demands from the Pelicans.
Davis requested a trade from the Pelicans last month. He told the organization he has no plans of signing an extension this summer and would leave via free agency in 2020 if he doesn't get moved prior to that.
The Lakers and Pelicans have had extensive talks since, but the Celtics have long been looming as a potential suitor. Tatum is the trump card in the Davis race, since he's a surefire future All-Star and foundational trade chip for a superstar of AD's caliber. The Lakers, meanwhile, do not possess such a star. Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball and Kyle Kuzma each have potential, but they all have glaring flaws as well.
Tatum soared during the 2018 postseason as a rookie and could be a breakout star in an environment where he's the No. 1 option. As currently constructed, the Celtics do not offer him that opportunity.
Throwing a wrench into the Celtics' plans is Davis' interest (or lack thereof) in going to Boston. He reportedly would not be willing to sign long term with the Celtics, per Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, especially with Kyrie Irving's future also still up in the air.
If Irving does re-sign with the Celtics in July, it may convince them to go all-in for Davis and include Tatum in the Pelicans' return package.