Saturday, it was reported that NBA superstar Anthony Davis was dealt to the Los Angeles Lakers after months of uncertainty surrounding the big man’s future. Though many believed the Boston Celtics could finagle their way into acquiring the six time All-Star, ultimately Danny Ainge decided the franchise was going to sit this one out.
After months of speculation, the Anthony Davis sweepstakes has finally come to an end. This past Saturday, it was reported the New Orleans Pelicans agreed to trade their franchise player to the Los Angeles Lakers in exchange for Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart and three future first round picks, including the number four pick in this year’s draft. With this, L.A. acquires the best big man in the league today while New Orleans gears up for a rebuild with young talents to pair with their presumed number one overall pick, Zion Williamson.
Since Davis requested a trade from NOLA back in January, it has been the worst kept secret that the All-Star’s preferred destination was to the Lakers. However, though this was widely known, many around the league believed the Boston Celtics would be heavy participants in attempting to acquire the disgruntled big man. With a plethora of first round picks at their disposal, coupled with young talents such as Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum still on rookie deals, the C’s were seen as the team who could offer the best potential return package.
Though it was reported that Anthony Davis had zero intentions of re-signing with Boston if traded, it appeared as though the Celtics were still interested in taking their chances on acquiring him and, if successful, trying to convince him to stay long term. Ultimately, however, Davis got his wish and will be donning the purple and gold during the 2019-20 campaign.
After the trade with L.A. went down, reports came out pertaining to Boston’s participation in the Anthony Davis trade talks with New Orleans. According to sources, the main reason why Boston wasn’t able to get a deal done was due to General Manager/ President of Basketball Operations, Danny Ainge’s reluctance to include small forward Jayson Tatum.
The Boston Celtics refused to make Jayson Tatum available in trade talks with New Orleans, league sources say, putting the Lakers in prime position to strike the deal that teams Anthony Davis with LeBron James
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) June 15, 2019
Though some may be upset over the fact that the Celtics did not land such a marquee talent as Davis, it must be acknowledged, Danny Ainge did exactly the right thing.
The appeal of having a player like Anthony Davis on a teams roster may be just enough reason for a lesser GM to “break the bank” and acquire said player. However, a smart and seasoned veteran at the position would look at all aspects, both short and long term, when dealing with such a situation. Ainge did exactly that.
At just 21-years-old, Jayson Tatum looks every bit of a future star in this league. Coming into year three, the expectation is Tatum is bound for a larger role with the Celtics due to the belief that their current star, Kyrie Irving, is a serious flight risk this offseason. With someone of the small forward’s talents, coupled with his remaining three years left on his contract, how could it possibly be considered a smart move to exchange him for a player who, barring an unforeseen change of heart, would be a mere one year rental?
Let me answer that question for you. It wouldn’t.
Trading promising future aspects like Tatum and Brown for a potential one-year window to win a championship is not a smart move to make. And, luckily for Boston, Ainge was smart enough not to take the bait.
Throughout his 16-year career as Celtics President of Basketball Operations, Ainge has proven to be someone who can consistently build competitive and championship contending teams. With a bevy of fantastic draft selections, an NBA Executive of the Year award and an NBA Championship on his resume, Ainge has indefinitely cast aside any semblance of doubt over if he knows how to run a franchise.
With his refusal to package Jayson Tatum in a trade for Anthony Davis, it proves that Ainge is thinking logically, as he has his eyes set on the future success of the franchise.