Report: Cavaliers ‘coveted’ Jayson Tatum in Kyrie Irving trade talks
A blockbuster deal that appeared out of thin air took actual weeks to negotiate, according to The Vertical’s Shams Charania, thanks to what a relentless pursuit of the Celtics’ Jayson Tatum.
“The big discussion point with Boston and Cleveland over the past several weeks on a potential deal has always been about Jayson Tatum’s involvement,” Charania reported in an appearance on NBA TV. “The Cavaliers coveted him greatly. I think if Tatum was involved the first day these talks transpired, this deal would have been done weeks ago, but Boston held firm.”
This was something that Ainge alluded to in his conference call following the trade.
“Well, it presented itself. It wasn’t available earlier in the summer, this same opportunity,” Ainge said of the accepted trade, which saw the Celtics send four pieces to Cleveland, with the Cavaliers. “These are very difficult decisions, as you can imagine. We face these difficult decisions at all times during the year. You never know when something may present itself.”
Drafted with the third overall pick in this year’s draft, the 19-year-old Tatum is a high-upside small forward capable of playing multiple positions. Drawing some over-the-top comparisons to Paul Pierce, Tatum wowed the C’s with a strong Summer League showing that featured 18.2 points and 8.8 rebounds per contest during his time between Utah and Vegas, while shooting a combined 41-for-92 (a 44.6 field goal percentage) over that span. And Tatum, for what it’s worth, was also voted most likely to succeed in this year’s rookie survey.
And when the Celtics refused to budge on including the promise of Tatum, the focus then appeared to shift towards the 2018 Brooklyn first-round pick, and with no protections on it.
It also provided a glimpse of what the Celtics consider to be their core pieces, in addition to the likes of Al Horford and Gordon Hayward, moving forward.
“Him, Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart, these guys are the future for the Celtics,” Charania said. “The major sticking point was Tatum, and Boston was able to get the man that they wanted for weeks without giving up Tatum, or Jaylen Brown, or Marcus Smart.”
Full article @ Report: Cavaliers ‘coveted’ Jayson Tatum in Kyrie Irving trade talks
Source: GreenStreet Blog