If the New Orleans Pelicans decide to wait until the summer of 2019 to engage in a blockbuster deal, the Boston Celtics will become the top favorite to land Anthony Davis. Unless they are willing to offer Kyrie Irving, the Celtics can’t trade for Davis before the February NBA deadline since according to league rules, a team can only have one player who signed under the “Derrick Rose Rule.”
When Kyrie Irving opts out of his contract next July, the Celtics are expected to go all-in for Anthony Davis. However, even if they succeed to acquire the All-Star big man, there are growing speculations that Irving may consider leaving Boston in free agency. In an appearance on Fox Sports Radio Show, Brian Windhorst of ESPN said that the Celtics’ pursuit of Davis could be one of the major reasons why Irving is no longer committing to re-sign with Boston next summer.
“The Kyrie that I know – again, he’s a strange guy … – he wants to be the A1A alpha dog on a team. And … this is pure speculation …. part of the reason why I think he’s backing off committing to Boston, I suspect it’s because he’s not thrilled Boston is all excited about Anthony Davis,” Windhorst said, as transcribed by Jason McIntyre of The Big Lead.
“The Celtics dream is to get Kyrie Irving and Anthony Davis … but maybe somebody needs to ask the question if Kyrie Irving wants to play with Anthony Davis.”
"I was just talking to someone who now thinks that Kyrie is going to the Clippers – that’s how wild this has become." Agents on how Irving's comments have changed the marketplace. https://t.co/Yn1KPhaG2g— Mark Murphy (@Murf56) February 3, 2019
When Kyrie Irving demanded a trade from the Cleveland Cavaliers, there were rumors that he wanted to move out of the shadow of LeBron James to be the main man of a team. The Cavaliers granted his wish by trading him to the Celtics. Windhorst believes that Irving is concerned that the Celtics will no longer treat him as their main man once they succeed to acquire Anthony Davis.
In a recent interview with Ian Begley of ESPN, Kyrie Irving explained that he only publicly committed to re-signing with the Celtics before the 2018-19 NBA season because of “excitement.” As of now, Irving is focused on helping the Celtics fully dominate the Eastern Conference and win the 2019 NBA championship title. When the season is over, Irving said that he will follow what his heart desires and added that he doesn’t “owe anybody s—.”
Several NBA teams who are expected to create enough salary cap space for a max free agent have already been linked to Kyrie Irving, including the Los Angeles Lakers, New York Knicks, and the Brooklyn Nets. However, despite Irving’s recent comments, Celtics General Manager Danny Ainge remains optimistic that the All-Star point guard will stay long-term in Boston.