Boston Celtics: Jayson Tatum ‘wouldn’t mind’ being traded to New Orleans

Boston Celtics Jayson Tatum (Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images)
Boston Celtics Jayson Tatum (Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images) /

In the latest twist to the roller coaster ride of a season for the Boston Celtics, Jayson Tatum reportedly wouldn’t mind being moved to the New Orleans Pelicans.

On Brian Windhorst’s podcast with ESPN, Tim MacMahon talked about the struggles the Boston Celtics have faced this season, including the trade buzz surrounding Jayson Tatum and Anthony Davis.

"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, Brown, Rozier, and 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. 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."

It appears the only man on the face of the earth the Celtics would conceivably offer their 20-year-old forward for is Anthony Davis. Prior to this year’s trade deadline, the Pelicans requested assurances from the Celtics that certain players would be on the table come July 1st, when the two can officially strike a deal. It is possible Jayson Tatum’s name was near the top of that list as one of the best young stars in the NBA.

With the team struggling mightily for the better part of the season, Danny Ainge could be coerced into making a major move once the offseason starts. Jayson Tatum is a big ask, but for a reward as good as Anthony Davis it may just be worth the risk.

And a risk it would be.


With just days ahead of the deadline reports surfaced that Davis would only re-sign with a handful of teams should he be moved, and if he were shipped to a team not on the list he would treat it as a one-year rental. The Boston Celtics did not make the cut.

Could this be another display of tampering used by Davis’s agent Rich Paul in a desperate attempt to move the big man to Los Angeles? Perhaps. But there’s no way of knowing for certain unless Davis himself publicly speaks it into reality.

For the Celtics, signing Davis could prove to be the final piece of the puzzle or a horrific disaster. It truly can go either way.

On one hand, the big man solves Boston’s frontcourt problems that have plagued the team for years. At just 25 years old he is already one of the top 7 players on the planet with time to go before entering his prime. With averages of 29 points, 13.3 rebounds, 2.6 blocks, and 4.3 assists per game, Davis boasts one of the most impressive stat lines in the NBA. Most impressively, his 31.10 player efficiency rating leads the entire NBA.

Coupled with Kyrie Irving, the two could wreak havoc on the NBA. That is if adding Davis is enough to convince Irving to sign on long-term. The perfect scenario for Danny Ainge and the Celtics is to slap a max contract on Kyrie and follow it up with a move for Davis. The running theory is that putting the two together would be enough to make the duo happy in Beantown.

Worst case scenario for the Celtics is that they make these moves and after a one year run the two go their own ways and Boston is left with nothing. Most critically, the team moved their prized jewel in Jayson Tatum among others to make it all happen.

Jayson Tatum, at just 20 years old, is averaging 16.4 points and 6.3 rebounds per game while shooting 37 percent from deep.

For Tatum, seeking an opportunity to be the face of a franchise makes sense. He arguably already has the highest ceiling of any current Celtic, yet gets buried in the rotation amongst a crowded backcourt. Given Tatum’s isolation-heavy play style, becoming the number one option on a rebuilding team could prove highly beneficial for his overall development.

For New Orleans, the Pelicans get a potential franchise cornerstone in exchange for a bonafide one. Given that Davis is on the outs, it really becomes the best case scenario for the team. The Pels can offer Tatum the chance to become the standout star of the team while the franchise traverses a rebuild that is expedited by the package of young players and picks that Boston can present.

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For Jayson Tatum and the Celtics, this season could very well be the last the two spend together. If the Celtics do make a move, the separation may just be the one thing each needs to take the next step forward.