Storyline: Jayson Tatum Trade?

36 rumors in this storyline

Boston: The Celtics had long been a destination possibility for Davis, but Davis and those close to him made it clear that Boston was not a preferred long-term team. Davis had no interest in playing a single game for Boston — negotiating tactic or not. The gamble would have been heavy for Boston. Still, the Celtics engaged with New Orleans over the course of the past week. They were open to discussing Jayson Tatum and the future Memphis first-round pick but not in the same offer, sources said. Celtics president Danny Ainge will always swing for a tantalizing talent, but even he had to balance the risk and reward considering the uncertain future of his free-agent star, Kyrie Irving. For months New Orleans ownership and top business officials had believed a mega offer would come from Boston. There were offers. Just not the multiple top assets that many thought would come. Tatum, or the Memphis first-rounder, is a strong piece, but not enough to top the Lakers’ overall haul.

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With all the speculation about Anthony Davis trades, Tatum’s name has been mentioned quite a bit. He would potentially fit the “young player with All-Star potential” piece of the three-part request that David Griffin stated Monday, per Adrian Wojnarowski. Yet, the 21-year-old is not concerned about any potential trades. “The NBA is a business, and people have to make business decisions, and it is totally out of my control,” said Tatum. “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.”

Jayson Tatum on whether the Anthony Davis trade talks between New Orleans and Boston last month affected his game… (The two teams can’t do a deal until this summer, but are known to have had preliminary talks that included the possibility of Tatum being included). “Nah, because I just love to play basketball. I’ll play for whoever wants me, and that organization. You know, this is a business, and I understand that it’s not always personal. I’m kind of mature for my age, I understood. I’ve been in this business for a long time, so if it happened it happened, if it didn’t then my job was to just go play basketball.
4 months ago via ESPN

“I was talking to about the Celtics the other day and they said the worst thing that happened to the Celtics was their success last season. Because now you’ve got Tatum, [Jaylen] Brown, [Terry] Rozier — these young guys are thinking dude, we went to Game 7 of the East Finals without you, Kyrie, without you, Hayward. We’re this level of player … This summer, they could be gone. They might up end in New Orleans [for Davis]. 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.”

This will still be an anxious week for the Boston brass, knowing the team will be sidelined from negotiations as other teams try to pry Davis from the Pelicans. Some rival executives have wondered why the Pelicans would rush to make a decision now, with the likelihood that the Lakers’ offer will still be there come the offseason. At that time, New Orleans would be able to better judge its other offers, including that from Boston. Jayson Tatum is widely viewed as the best prospect potentially on the table. The Celtics also have a list of other talented young players, like Marcus Smart and Jaylen Brown, plus a number of draft picks to sweeten the offer. Even if the Kings’ pick isn’t likely to land where Boston hoped entering the season, the Celtics have the pieces to compete with anyone else’s offer — and they intend to be aggressive, sources said, assuming they actually get the chance to enter the race.

This latest Lakers-Celtics subplot would be dead by now if Ainge had been scared off, but sources say Boston — which can’t trade for Davis until this summer because of the well-chronicled “Rose Rule” — is continuing its complicated pursuit of the five-time All-Star in spite of the message being sent through various channels that he doesn’t want to play there. 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.

As the Pelicans field offers for Anthony Davis, Boston’s message to New Orleans has been direct: Wait. Wait, and we will come to you with an offer that will make it worth it. Wait, and you can raid our stash of draft picks. The Celtics have refused to directly dangle Jayson Tatum, two sources familiar with the situation told SI.com, but the Pelicans have been left with the impression that if Davis remains on the roster past Thursday, nothing is off the table.

“Boston is resisting, and will initially at least, resist this idea,” Wojnarowski said. “Boston believes that it was completely transparent with Cleveland about where Thomas was physically, his rehab. Cleveland’s version of this is that they didn’t realize how long Thomas could potentially be out this season, he’s in the final year of his contract, and obviously, that matches up with what will likely be the final year of LeBron’s current deal, and so there’s going to be a showdown between these two teams that may last a couple more days.”
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June 24, 2019 | 9:42 pm EDT Update