New Orleans Pelicans superstar Anthony Davis is now officially available on the trading block, but the team that can offer the best trade package, the Boston Celtics, can’t pursue the All-Star big man before the February NBA trade deadline because of the “Derrick Rose Rule.” Luckily, the Pelicans don’t seem to be in a rush and have expressed their desire to wait for the summer of 2019 to trade Davis so the Celtics can join the bidding war.
Unfortunately, for the Celtics and other interested teams, Anthony Davis is planning to treat any trade destination, except the Lakers, as a “one-year stop,” according to Adrian Wojnarowski and Zach Lowe of ESPN. Davis has a player option on his contract that will enable him to push through with his plan to join the Lakers as an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2020. Most NBA teams will think twice before emptying their treasure chests for a possible one-year rental.
In a recent appearance on 98.5 Sports Hub, Celtics General Manager Danny Ainge was asked if he’s willing to trade for a one-year rental and try to win an NBA championship title. Ainge said they would consider doing it, but it depends on the situation, player, and the package. Ainge and the Celtics had been in the same situation before when they engaged in a blockbuster deal with the Minnesota Timberwolves to acquire Kevin Garnett.
“When we made the trade for KG, we wouldn’t do if he wouldn’t re-sign. KG said no. Then we trade for Ray Allen and then he was onboard,” Ainge said, according to Yahoo Sports‘ Keith Smith via Twitter. “It’s not about selling them. Players want to be themselves and they want to win. But it is possible to create the environment where they can reach their goals. That’s usually how you keep players.”
Story co-bylined with @ZachLowe_NBA and an assist from @WindhorstESPN: Inside the Anthony Davis trade sweepstakes, including the latest on Davis' 2020 free agent intentions, plus Pelicans-Lakers-Celtics triangle. https://t.co/Bt7EtpX3kk— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 31, 2019
Anthony Davis is not the first superstar to demand a trade and threaten teams who are not on his list of preferred destinations that he will only be a one-year rental. Paul George also expressed his desire to play for the Purple and Gold, but after one season of playing alongside Russell Westbrook, he decided to sign a long-term contract with the Oklahoma City Thunder in the recent offseason without giving the Lakers the chance to make their free agency pitch.
Aside from Anthony Davis, Celtics General Manager Danny Ainge also addressed the rumors surrounding All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving. After stating his intention to re-sign with the Celtics next summer, speculations heated up that Irving could leave Boston to reunite with LeBron James in Los Angeles. Despite the rumors, Ainge remains optimistic that Irving will remain with the Celtics for the next couple of years.
“I talk to him all the time. I think he likes it in Boston. I can’t talk about specifics. That’s taboo. But I’m optimistic.”
As of now, the Celtics are focused on fully dominating the Eastern Conference in the 2018-19 NBA season. The Celtics are yet to reach their full potential, but they have started to show massive improvement with their performance on both ends of the floor and their chemistry.