Celtics’ Jayson Tatum says ‘it’s good to be wanted’ in response to being involved in Anthony Davis trade rumors
Most people believe Jayson Tatum is one of the NBA’s most promising young players. Much less certain, especially in the wake of Anthony Davis requesting a trade earlier this week, is with what team he will develop into a star.
Not that the Boston Celtics wing seems to mind, though.
“It’s good to be wanted,” Jayson Tatum said on Wednesday of hearing his name called in trade rumors, per Brian Robb of Boston Sports Journal. “I control what I can control.”
The Celtics, like the rest of the league, have long admired Davis from afar, reportedly hoping to pair him with Kyrie Irving in one of the league’s most devastating superstar tandems. Unfortunately for Danny Ainge, his team is unable to trade for Davis until this summer because league rules stipulate that a team can possess just one player signed to a Designated Player extension off his rookie deal — Irving, a free agent after this season, already occupies that slot on the Celtics’ roster.
Tatum, to be clear, may not be affected either way. Boston has a treasure trove of assets at its disposal to offer New Orleans in a potential trade for Davis, including Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart, Terry Rozier, sky-walking rookie Robert Williams, and multiple high-value first-round picks that will be conveyed by inferior teams. Some analysts have suggested that Gordon Hayward, still recovering from a horrific right leg injury that caused him to miss all of last season, could be made available in a package for Davis too.
The one player, other than Irving, who Boston might deem off-limits? Tatum, who is averaging 16.2 points and 6.2 rebounds per game on 44.8 percent shooting.
In the scenario the Pelicans elect against dealing Davis before the Feb. 7 trade deadline, the Celtics can put together a more attractive offer than any other team in the league whether Tatum is a part of it or otherwise. Rest assured, Ainge will do everything he can to keep the 20-year-old in the fold while negotiating with New Orleans.
Should Dell Demps drive an especially hard bargain this summer, though, don’t be surprised if Tatum is wearing a different jersey next season.
And apparently, he’ll be just fine either way.