As long as Anthony Davis is in New Orleans, the Boston Celtics will remain interested in acquiring the all-world talent.
And in anything but a shock, the Celtics have no shortage of assets -- be it picks, young talent, and tradable contracts -- to move in an attempt to woo the Pelicans into trading Davis, too.
But for all of the combinations and hypothetical trade packages, there's no denying the fact that Danny Ainge's most valuable chip remains budding superstar Jayson Tatum.
Nobody wants to lose Tatum in a trade for Davis, of course. But even those closest to Tatum would do it, according to 98.5 The Sports Hub Celtics broadcaster Cedric Maxwell.
“Jayson Tatum’s dad came to me a couple days later and said, ‘Man, I got a bone to pick with you,'” Maxwell, appearing on the CLNS Celtics Beat podcast, began. “I was like, ‘What?’ He said ‘you said you’d trade my son for Anthony Davis,’ I said ‘And?’ And he said ‘Well, I would probably trade him, too, if he wasn’t my son.’"
Tatum's father isn't on an island here, as Tatum himself said he'd move himself in a deal for Davis.
"Even I talked to Tatum and told him that story about his dad. He said, ‘Yeah, I’d trade me, too, for Anthony Davis,'" Maxwell said.
The superteam vultures have circled New Orleans for what's felt like years now with hopes of landing Davis, and with the Pelicans sporting a 19-22 record on the year and failing to trend upwards, it feels as if a Davis move out of town is inevitable.
Especially as Davis himself begins to openly discuss what's important to him as a player.
"Winning first," Davis told The Athletic when asked about what a legacy meant to him. "Individual performance. Team success. For an individual player, how does he make his team better? All that stuff is about performance on the floor. And of course, winning. Everybody might be different in their own eye. I think for me I want winning to be a part of my legacy. Everybody might be different. Some people might just care about individual stats, individual goals, individual accolades, but for me, I want winning to be a part of my legacy."
Ainge would love to help Davis create that legacy, as everybody knows, but it's hard to imagine him wanting to part with Tatum as part of that price. Even if Tatum and his dad would understand the motives behind such a move.