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#pounditMonday, August 3, 2020

Report: Celtics made no player off-limits in Anthony Davis trade talks

Jayson Tatum

The New Orleans Pelicans are almost certain to ask for Jayson Tatum as part of any potential trade package for Anthony Davis when they engage in talks with the Boston Celtics, and that is apparently not an unrealistic request.

Tatum is considered one of the best young players in the NBA, but Shams Charania of The Athletic reports that the Celtics told the Pelicans “everyone can be available” when the two teams had preliminary talks about Davis at the trade deadline earlier this month. That includes Tatum.

Boston is not eligible to acquire Davis or any other “Rose Rule” player until this summer, when fellow “Rose Rule” player Kyrie Irving’s current contract expires. That is likely one of the reasons the Pelicans held off on dealing Davis, as the Celtics may have the best package of players and picks to offer.

The draft picks are nice, but Tatum would be the big prize. The former Duke star proved during the postseason last year that he is a budding superstar, and he’s under team control through the 2021-2022 season. Getting a player of his caliber in addition to a high draft pick or two would be a great return for New Orleans.

While the Celtics might even be willing to trade Kyrie Irving, that would seem a bit counterproductive. Davis supposedly does not want to sign with Boston long-term, and one of the reasons for that is he believes Irving could leave. If the Celtics want to have a shot at signing Davis to an extension, they probably need to keep Irving.

Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge has long coveted Davis, so there’s a chance he could part with Tatum if that becomes a deal-breaker. Tatum told Charania he is not concerned about the trade rumors and will “play anywhere.”

Davis claims he does not care where he’s traded, but it may not matter anyway. Some teams are reportedly willing to take a chance on acquiring him even without a long-term commitment, and the Celtics seem like one of those teams. Would they part with Tatum to do it? Time will tell.

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