Celtics Rumors: Jayson Tatum Was Not Made Available in Anthony Davis Trade Talks

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistJune 15, 2019

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - MAY 06: Jayson Tatum #0 of the Boston Celtics dribbles against the Milwaukee Bucks during the second quarter of Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals during the 2019 NBA Playoffs at TD Garden on May 06, 2019 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

The Boston Celtics "refused" to include 2017 third overall pick Jayson Tatum in trade talks for New Orleans Pelicans star Anthony Davis, according to Marc Stein of the New York Times.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported on Saturday the Pelicans traded Davis to the Los Angeles Lakers in exchange for Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart and three first-round picks, including the fourth overall pick in the 2019 NBA draft.

Armed with young talent and draft capital, Boston had been heavily linked to Davis, who publicly requested a trade back in January. At that time, the six-time All-Star made it clear he was open to joining the Celtics, saying all of the other 29 clubs were on his list of preferred destinations:


"All 29 other teams are on my list." Anthony Davis says he does not have a preferred destination #NBAAllStar https://t.co/fyCIxtLdYX

President of basketball operations Danny Ainge was unable to make a run at Davis at the 2019 trade deadline back in February because of the fact that both he and Kyrie Irving were under designated rookie extensions.

Though the Celtics were now able to pursue Davis, the team may have been hesitant to make a massive offer, including Tatum, because of comments made by Davis' camp.

Davis' dad, Anthony Davis Sr., let it be known to ESPN.com's Ramona Shelburne in February that he did not want his son playing for Boston, citing the team's lack of "loyalty" with former star Isaiah Thomas.

Sports Illustrated's S.L. Price published a feature on Davis' agent, Rich Paul, earlier this week that also may have given the Celtics cause for pause. Paul told Price in the profile that Davis would only be a rental player if he wound up in Boston.

"They can trade for him, but it'll be for one year," Paul told Price. "I mean: If the Celtics traded for Anthony Davis, we would go there and we would abide by our contractual [obligations] and we would go into free agency in 2020. I've stated that to them. But in the event that he decides to walk away and you give away assets? Don't blame Rich Paul."

Ultimately, Ainge reportedly decided it wasn't worth giving up Tatum for potentially just one year of Davis—even if the 21-year-old himself conceded he would trade himself for the big man.

"Yeah, I'd trade me too for Anthony Davis," Tatum said on the Celtics Beat podcast (h/t NBC Sports Boston's Darren Hartwell) in January.

Tatum averaged 15.7 points and 6.0 rebounds in his second season as a professional. As a rookie in 2017-18, he helped the Celtics come within one game of the NBA Finals by averaging 18.5 points and 4.4 rebounds per game during the postseason.