BOSTON — If the Boston Celtics want to acquire Anthony Davis, and they reportedly do, it almost certainly will require Jayson Tatum heading to the New Orleans Pelicans as part of the return.
Tatum is one of the game’s brightest young stars, and given the haul the Pelicans will be able to fetch in a trade for their star big man (who made clear he wants out earlier this week), every time the Celtics are linked, Tatum’s name understandably comes up.
So how does the 20-year-old feel about that?
“I mean, it’s good to be wanted, I guess you can say that,” Tatum said before Wednesday’s game against the Charlotte Hornets. “I’m not a free agent, I have no control, so control what I can control and go out there and play.
“My job is to control what I can control,” Tatum said when asked about how he handles rumors. “I mean, I can’t control what happens, so you’ve got to go out there and focus on today, just play the game (and) see what happens.”
Earlier in the evening, Celtics head coach Brad Stevens admitted it’s fun to listen to trade rumors, but that he and the players don’t tend to get caught up in them.
“I said this on my radio deal today,” Stevens said, “The NBA is what it is because of the scuttlebutt and the excitement around it. Obviously the game is great and there’s a lot of good things about it that captivates everybody’s attention for 12 months out of the year. And I said the other day, the unfortunate part of being in the middle of it is you realize most of it is not true, but it’s still fun to listen to.
“Ultimately I don’t pay a lot of attention to it, I know the guys don’t pay a lot of attention to it,” Stevens added. “And if they do, it wanes the older they get because it’s just nonstop and if you do you get too caught up in all those things. So, we talk about things when things need to be talked about, but other than that you just move forward and try to focus on what we can do.”
Because of the Rose Rule, the Celtics can’t trade for Davis this season unless they parted ways with Kyrie Irving. Seeing as that is highly unlikely, Boston’s path to acquiring Davis would be doing so this summer.
So if Davis isn’t moved at the Feb. 7 trade deadline, expect to hear Tatum’s name linked to New Orleans quite a bit between then and July.
Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images