Welcome to Boston.com’s Sports Q, our daily conversation, initiated by you and moderated by Chad Finn, about a compelling topic in Boston sports. Here’s how it works: You submit questions to Chad through Twitter, Facebook, email, his Friday chat, and any other outlet you prefer. He’ll pick one each weekday to answer, then we’ll take the discussion to the comments. Chad will stop by several times per day to navigate. But you drive the conversation.
Today’s question comes in the form of a declarative tweet from WBZ Radio’s Adam Kaufman, a former colleague at Boston.com:
I wouldn't trade Jayson Tatum for Anthony Davis. Just so we're clear. #Celtics
— Adam Kaufman (@AdamMKaufman) November 15, 2017
A couple of thoughts on this before I give my answer and send it over to you.
Considering Tatum untouchable in a deal for the supremely talented Davis is remarkable given that many if not most Celtics fans I heard from did not like the trade that sent the rights to No. 1 pick Markelle Fultz to the Sixers for the No. 3 pick (Tatum) and a future No. 1 from the Lakers or Kings.
Now it looks like another Danny Ainge heist. Tatum has played 15 games in the NBA, and we’re convinced he’s on the superstar track. That tells you how well Tatum has played, and how quick Celtics fans are to fall for a rookie who impresses right away.
Would I trade Tatum for Davis? In a vacuum, of course. Can you imagine how Davis, one of the top 5-10 most talented players in the league, would fare playing for Brad Stevens? And he’s still only 24.
But the trade isn’t made in a vacuum, and that’s where it gets tricky. Tatum is on a rookie contract. Davis is in the second year of a five-year, $127 million contract that carries through the 2020-21 season. So there would have to be much more to the trade than giving up just Tatum and the other young talent and picks that the Pelicans would require. The Celtics would have to include a high-salaried player to make the trade work. And the Celtics still need to work out an extension for Kyrie Irving down the road.
So my answer: I’d give up Tatum in a package for Davis if it didn’t require giving up another core player or two. And it would. The trade machine accepts Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart, Marcus Morris and Guerschon Yabusele for Davis, but that leaves the roster perilously thin. It also accepts Al Horford and Tatum for Davis and E’Twaun Moore, which I would not do. The whole cost of trading for Davis – with Tatum included – is too much for me.
But what do you guys think. Would you give up Tatum in the requisite package it would take to acquire Anthony Davis? I’ll see you in the comments.