We got word Tuesday morning that the Boston Celtics and New Orleans Pelicans — who can’t complete a trade for Anthony Davis until July 1 when Kyrie Irving becomes a free agent — haven’t directly talked about a Jayson Tatum swap.
Tuesday evening, a report surfaced that the Celtics and Pelicans have had direct contact about a Tatum-Davis deal that could take place this summer.
According to The Athletic’s Sam Amick, while no formal offer can be made a this juncture, the talk between the New Orleans front office and Celtics GM Danny Ainge has centered on Tatum.
Via The Athletic:
A source with knowledge of the talks said the potential centerpiece in a Pelicans package, 20-year-old Celtics small forward Jayson Tatum, has been discussed extensively by the two teams and is expected to be a major part of the talks when June rolls around.
Of course all sides in the AD sweepstakes are trying to play each other before the Feb. 7 trade deadline. The Los Angeles Lakers are hoping they can entice the Pelicans to take their offer of seemingly every player on their roster not named LeBron James, plus several draft picks. Then again, LA has reportedly decided to pull out of talks, which from a distance feels like nothing more than a negotiating tactic.
There’s nothing keeping New Orleans from holding out Davis the rest of the season despite his medical ability to play, then waiting to see what the Lakers and Celtics can offer with everything square on July 1. That’s not in the Lakers’ best interest, since they hold just about the weakest possible offer of any Davis suitor.
Expect more posturing as this week drags on. At this point, I don’t know if Davis finishes the season in New Orleans, LA, or elsewhere. There isn’t a single outcome that would surprise me.