Celtics' Jayson Tatum Speaks on Being Included in Anthony Davis Trade Rumors

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistJune 12, 2019

MILWAUKEE, WI - MAY 8: Jayson Tatum #0 of the Boston Celtics shoots a free-throw against the Milwaukee Bucks  during Game Five of the Eastern Conference Semifinals of the 2019 NBA Playoffs on May 8, 2019 at the Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
Nathaniel S. Butler/Getty Images

Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum said he's not concerned about ongoing trade speculation involving him in a potential blockbuster deal for New Orleans Pelicans superstar Anthony Davis.

Tatum appeared on the Good N' Plenty podcast with Jeff Goodman on Tuesday (via Gabby Guerard of WEEI) and said his focus will remain unchanged, regardless of where he's playing.

"The NBA is a business, and people have to make business decisions, and it is totally out of my control," he said. "I've just got to control myself and what I do and working out and playing the game I love. And I tell people all the time that if I get traded, there's nothing I can do. I'm not going to be upset or mad (at) who I play for. I just love to play basketball."

The 21-year-old Duke product has been asked about the situation frequently in recent months, but he has never appeared fazed about the possibility of joining a new team this summer.

"Trade rumors don't bother me," Tatum told Sopan Deb of the New York Times in April. "They're talking about trading me for guys like Anthony Davis. So, I mean, I must be doing something pretty well."

The Celtics are expected to explore ways to shake up their roster following a 2018-19 season that fell short of sky-high expectations.

Boston was primed for a championship run with point guard Kyrie Irving and small forward Gordon Hayward returning from injuries to join a roster that reached the Eastern Conference Finals last year. The C's lost to the Cleveland Cavaliers in seven games and were seemingly buoyed after LeBron James left the conference in free agency.

However, the Celtics won six fewer games to finish with a 49-33 record and were knocked out in the second round of the playoffs by the Milwaukee Bucks.

Tatum told Goodman the team never discovered the right chemistry with so many talented players trying to find their own niche in a crowded rotation, per Guerard.

"Everybody wanted to win. Everybody wanted to make it work. But I don't know if we knew how to exactly do that," he said. "Because we all got along great, on the plane, off the court. But even watching film, it didn't necessarily look like we were all on the same page during the games."

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Tatum, the third overall pick in the 2017 NBA draft, averaged 15.7 points, 6.0 rebounds and 2.1 assists while shooting 45.0 percent from the field, including 37.3 percent on threes, in 79 games. He ranked 15th among small forwards in both player efficiency rating and ESPN's real plus-minus.

The Celtics figure to face ample competition, particularly from James and his Los Angeles Lakers, if they do make a push for a Davis trade during the offseason.

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