Jayson Tatum has had a very impressive rookie season, as he averaged 13.9 points per game in the regular season. He has developed into a scoring option and will be key if the Celtics make a run in the playoffs. Tatum is a versatile player, as he started games at forward and guard this year. He can shoot the three and drive to the rim. With a few more years in Brad Stevens’ system, Tatum should develop into an All-Star and All-NBA player. Given all this, there are still some Celtics fans who want to trade Tatum. Why? That would be for two other stars, by the names of Anthony Davis and Kawhi Leonard. They have been rumored to be on the trade block, but should the Celtics trade for one of them?
Trade for Anthony Davis?
A trade possibility for Davis would center around Al Horford and Jayson Tatum. Al Horford is a given because the money needs to cancel out, and Davis and Horford have similar contracts. The big decision is whether or not to trade 20-year-old Jayson Tatum.
Like Tatum will, Davis has developed every year. He averaged 13.5 points per game in 2012 and 28.1 points per game in 2017. Davis and Tatum could have similar careers when it’s all over, so I would say yes to that trade. The keyword in that last sentence is “could”. We KNOW that Anthony Davis is a top five player in the league. We THINK that Jayson Tatum could develop into this, but that is no guarantee. A known commodity is better than a projected commodity, and they have the best chance to win now with Davis. Tatum could get slowed down by injuries, or the NBA could catch up to him. Rookies often have great years, then coaches figure out how to defend them and they slow down. If Tatum is out of Stevens’ system, he could struggle if the Pelicans screw him up.
Trade for Kawhi Leonard?
Kawhi Leonard seemed like he would be the next greatest Spur after the Parker, Duncan, and Ginobili era. However, a strange injury situation has caused tension between him and the Spurs. Some reports say that Kawhi is being a wimp, and other reports say it is the Spurs’ medical staff’s fault.
A trade possibility for Leonard would center around Rozier, Morris, Tatum, and a first. I understand this is just a rumor, but I would not do this trade if it was proposed. First of all, this is a bigger package than the Davis trade, and I think that Davis is better than Leonard. Second of all, I voiced my concerns with Tatum outside of Stevens’ system, and I feel the same way about Leonard outside of Pop’s system. Stevens is considered to be one of the best in the business, and I think he would handle Kawhi well. However, Pop is the best in the business and with all the reports, we do not know where his head is really at. I do not know for sure if Tatum will be a superstar, but I do believe that he is a hard worker. But I do not trust Leonard as a person.
Danny Ainge is not scared to make a move as he has made many big splashes before. His most notable moves came in the 2007 offseason when he assembled the big three. His other big moves came the last offseason when he completely transformed the team. He traded fan favorites Isaiah Thomas and Avery Bradley, and he will not hesitate to trade Tatum if he feels like the offer is right.