Anthony Davis is on the move. Moments ago, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski broke the massive trade news.
Davis is heading to the Los Angeles Lakers, long considered the favorite to land his services, whether via trade this year, or when he hits free agency after the 2019-20 season. In return, the Lakers are sending a huge haul to the New Orleans Pelicans: former No. 2 picks Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram, guard Josh Hart, and three first-round picks, including the No. 4 pick in next week’s NBA Draft.
Obviously the Lakers weren’t the only team in pursuit of Davis, arguably a top five player in the sport when healthy. The New York Knicks and Boston Celtics were also rumored landing spots.
The Celtics might’ve had the best potential package to land Davis, but there were serious doubts that he’d sign in Boston longterm. A recent article about Davis’ agent Rich Paul, a longtime friend of LeBron James, in which he asserted that his client will hit free agency no matter what certainly didn’t help matters.
Per New York Times NBA insider Marc Stein, the main hangup for the Boston Celtics in a potential Anthony Davis trade was the inclusion of star forward Jayson Tatum.
Per Stein, the Celtics refused to include the second-year player out of Duke in any deal.
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
Tatum had a fantastic rookie year for the Celtics, but his game somewhat stagnated as a second-year player. Still, he has serious All-Star potential, and would probably be the best piece on the board in any Davis trade.
Interestingly, the Lakers also had a player that they reportedly wouldn’t move: Kyle Kuzma. Ultimately, they were able to get the deal done without sending him, and they still added a second superstar alongside LeBron.
We’ll have more as the fallout of this megadeal continues to come down.