After Anthony Davis was traded from the Pelicans to the Lakers as part of a blockbuster deal, more details about New Orleans’ negotiations with the Celtics have emerged.
According to The New York Times, one reason Los Angeles landed the big man was because the Celtics refused to make Jayson Tatum available in Boston’s offer.
Tatum said in January when there was speculation he could be traded for Davis: “Yeah, I’d trade me too for Anthony Davis.”
The Celtics and Lakers were believed to be the front-runners in acquiring Davis. But the Boston Globe reported Friday that the Celtics were hesitant to extend an offer with their best assets because of uncertainty surrounding Davis’s long-term future in Boston. It had been speculated that if Davis went to Boston, he would play out the final season of his contract and then opt to become a free agent.
The six-time All-Star told the Pelicans in late January that he didn’t plan to re-sign with the franchise when he could opt out of his contract after 2019-20, and he asked New Orleans to move him. The Pelicans were in negotiations with several teams (including the Celtics and the Lakers) before February’s trade deadline but failed to make a deal.
Davis’ dad, Anthony Davis Sr., made it clear in February that he didn’t want his son to play for Boston. He was concerned about the team’s lack of “loyalty” because of former star Isaiah Thomas.
“They can trade for him, but it’ll be for one year,” Davis’ agent, Rich Paul, told Sports Illustrated earlier this week. “I mean: If the Celtics traded for Anthony Davis, we would go there and we would abide by our contractual (obligations) and we would go into free agency in 2020. I’ve stated that to them. But in the event that he decides to walk away and you give away assets? Don’t blame Rich Paul.”
Davis, who averaged 25.9 points and 12 rebounds in 56 games during the regular season, led the Pelicans to a 33-49 record. New Orleans missed the playoffs for the third time in four seasons.