The Boston Celtics entered the 2018-19 NBA season having one of the most talented rosters in the league. Unfortunately, with their current performance, the Celtics obviously need more star power in order to have a strong chance of fully dominating the LeBron James-less Eastern Conference and winning the NBA championship title. As of now, the Celtics remain active on the trade market with Anthony Davis of the New Orleans Pelicans as their top trade target.
Adrian Wojnarowski and Zach Lowe of ESPN recently discussed the possibility that Anthony Davis will be traded before he becomes an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2020. If the Pelicans officially make him available on the trading block, the Celtics are believed to be the team that can offer the best trade package. Wojnarowski revealed that the Celtics have been “hawking” Davis for years, hoping to add him on their roster before the February NBA trade deadline or at the end of the season.
“Boston has been hawking Anthony Davis for years,” Wojnarowski said, as transcribed by Bleacher Report. “They always hoped that it would be—whether it’s the end of this season or the beginning of next before the trade deadline—that they would gather up all those assets, all those picks Danny Ainge has, young players, and they’d be the team to be able to get Anthony Davis. But now you have L.A., and if they get shut out in free agency, they’re going to have to take all their young players to try to use them to get Anthony Davis.”
The Celtics currently have a plethora of trade assets to engage in a blockbuster trade deal. They could explore a trade package including at least two of Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, and Terry Rozier, together with multiple first-round picks, to convince the Pelicans to send Anthony Davis to Boston. However, unless they want to part ways with Kyrie Irving, it is highly likely that the Celtics will try to acquire Davis next summer instead of next year’s trade deadline.
Per league rules, a team can only have one player who signed under the “Derrick Rose Rule” on their roster. The Celtics may have the best trade package to offer to the Pelicans, but as Wojnarowski noted, the Los Angeles Lakers won’t just let him go to Boston without giving a tough fight. If they fail to acquire a second superstar in the 2019 NBA free agency, the Lakers are expected to be more aggressive in pursuing the Pelicans star on the trade market.