Boston Celtics: Pressure is now on Jayson Tatum to succeed

Yesterday, superstar big man Anthony Davis was dealt to the Los Angeles Lakers for quite a hefty price. Though Boston was seen as the team with the best potential trade package, their reluctance to include small forward Jayson Tatum in the deal ultimately lead New Orleans to look to La La Land as their ultimate business partner.

Anthony Davis finally got what he wanted; a change of scenery. At around 6:30 PM (ET) yesterday, it was reported that the Los Angeles Lakers acquired the six time All-Star in exchange for Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart and three future first round picks, including the number four pick in this years draft. Though Los Angeles was always rumored to be one of Davis’ preferred landing spots, it was believed that the Boston Celtics would try to finagle their way into acquiring the superstars services.

Out of all teams vying for the big man, it was apparent the Celtics had the best trade package to offer the Pelicans in a potential deal. With two budding stars in Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum, a trade consisting of one, if not both, of these players would have most likely been the most desirable return package NOLA could have received for Davis. However, according to reports, when push came to shove, it was Boston’s unwillingness to part with Tatum that lead New Orleans to pull the trigger on a deal with LA.

Tatum is one of the best young players in the league today. At just 21-years-old, the small forward has proven to be a fantastic baller on both ends of the floor. In only his second season, per 36 minutes, Tatum put up averages of 18.2 PPG, 7.0 RPG and 1.2 SPG while shooting 45% from the field and 37% from beyond the arc. While Tatum does look the part of a future star in this league, one undeniable fact remains — Anthony Davis already is a star.

The Celtics opted to pull back on trade talks with the New Orleans Pelicans based off the belief that Jayson Tatum is the franchises future. Though this very much looks to be the career trajectory for the third year pro, it is by no means a guarantee.

Anthony Davis is a legitimate superstar whom, when healthy, is arguably a top five player in this league. A career 23.7 PPG, 10.5 RPG, 2.4 BPG player who often finds himself in the running for both Defensive Player of the Year and Most Valuable Player honors apparently was not enticing enough for the C’s to part ways with Jayson Tatum.

While we can applaud Boston for not acting based off emotions and trading for a player whom has reported to have had little interest in re-signing with the franchise if dealt, we must look at the newest issue that has surfaced; immense pressure now falls on Jayson Tatum to prove he is the Celtics franchise cornerstone moving forward.

If all goes according to plan, and Tatum flourishes into a top tier player in this league while donning green and white, than no one will ever question if the Celtics made the right decision. However, on the other hand, if the small forward never reaches the heights of his immensely high potential ceiling, Boston will be chastised for shying away from acquiring the disgruntled big man.

What’s done is done. Anthony Davis will be suiting up for the Lakers next season while the Celtics will go into the year with their young core still intact. All eyes will be focused in on Jayson Tatum in 2019-20 to see if he truly has what it takes to guide Boston to glory.

The pressure’s officially on!