Should the Celtics Include Jayson Tatum in an Anthony Davis Trade?
The news of Anthony Davis’s trade request has dominated the news cycle as the Patriots and Rams prepare to play in Super Bowl LIII. Davis reportedly wants to land in Los Angeles to pair with LeBron James on the Lakers but the best package for the Pelicans might reside in Boston. The Celtics can’t trade for Davis until July 1 due to the “Rose Rule” unless Kyrie Irving is traded at the deadline, which is probably not happening. Jayson Tatum is Boston’s crown jewel and his potential is higher than any of the Lakers' prospects.
On the latest Open Floor podcast, Andrew Sharp and The Washington Post’s Ben Golliver discuss if the Celtics should trade Tatum in a deal involving Anthony Davis.
(Listen to the latest Open Floor podcast here. The following transcript has been edited and condensed for clarity.)
Ben Golliver: Can we go back to the Tatum conversation? I think this package is way better than what the Lakers can offer period. The package centered around Tatum would obviously have to come this summer. If you are Boston and you already got Hayward for his contract, you know you are going to have to pay Kyrie, you know you are going to have to give Anthony Davis max-contract money and you are going to have answer the Al Horford question. Do you really want to part with Jayson Tatum this early in his career? Not only on where he can get to in his celling as a player but in terms of raw value of his contract? It is really helpful to have a player that young on a rookie deal who is a plus starter level contributor, I would be very, very reluctant to put Tatum into that package. What about you?
Sharp: Umm no way. There is no way I am reluctant to put Jayson Tatum into that package. I think Tatum is going to be a really solid player and is probably close to a top 10-20 level star then a top 10—top five level star. And I think Anthony Davis is a top five level star that you can pair with Kyrie.
Golliver: We already discussed this. He is not a top five guy laughs.
Sharp: Okay top six. He’s an MVP candidate year after year. And if you are Boston, you already have pieces. The state of Gordon Hayward is a tricky subject right now, because there are weeks that it is looks like he is going to be okay and he is going to turn a corner and the last week has not been great. So I don’t know how they feel about that and what their options right there might be. But if you are Boston, you have Horford, you have Kyrie and you have a title window that would be open. You are going to have another star over there the next couple of the years and I don’t think it would remain open if they stick with Tatum, Jaylen Brown and the group they have now.
Golliver: The reason why I raise this question is: We saw some reports from Chris Haynes saying that Anthony Davis doesn’t really want to go to Boston—it’s not at the top of his list. If I was Anthony Davis, I would not want to go to Boston unless Tatum was still there. If I am getting stuck into a conversation where you have Gordon Hayward’s contract on the books probably screwing things up in terms of your ability to improve your talent level. You got this Horford question and you are going to be locked into three major contracts with Kyrie, AD, and Hayward where it is going to be really tricky to fill out that rotation around those guys. That doesn’t really sound that great to me unless you got Tatum locked in on what would be a really killer starting lineup. So if I am AD, my interest in going to Boston and re-signing there long-term would be contingent on Tatum not being included.
Sharp: The other element that the Celtics would have to consider is that Tatum, is a guy who you can build the next 10 years around and there is real value in that too. He is a guy that provides security should Kyrie either leave or get hurt or whatever. As long as you have Tatum, you can at least sell yourself on a whole other era.
Also Tatum and Kyrie have the same agent and Kyrie is a free agent this summer and I don’t know the politics of that whole relationship is and that is something Ainge would have to navigate. As we mentioned earlier, no one really knows anything about some of this stuff. But if all things are equal, don’t overthink it. Anthony Davis and Kyrie Irving could dominate the East and have a good shot against a Warriors team without Kevin Durant or whoever comes out of the West next year.