The New Orleans Pelicans may have done the Boston Celtics a huge favor when they decided to wait for the summer of 2019 to trade the face of the franchise, Anthony Davis. The Celtics couldn’t trade for Davis before the February NBA trade deadline since they also have a player, Kyrie Irving, on their roster who signed under the “Derrick Rose Rule.” With Davis still available, the Celtics are expected to do everything they can just to add him to their roster.
However, in a recent episode of First Things First, which is currently posted on the show’s Twitter, Chris Broussard of Fox Sports said that the Celtics’ President of Basketball Operations and General Manager Danny Ainge will only go all-in and include Jayson Tatum in the trade package that will be sent to the Pelicans for Anthony Davis if they succeed to re-sign Kyrie Irving in the 2019 NBA free agency.
“It all depends on Kyrie Irving. If Kyrie re-signs, then Danny Ainge goes all in and Jayson Tatum is on the block. If Kyrie leaves, I wouldn’t give up the farm for AD.”
Kyrie Irving is expected to exercise the player option on his contract that will enable him to become an unrestricted free agent next summer. Before the 2018-19 NBA season officially started, Irving expressed his desire to sign a long-term contract with the Celtics. However, recently, it seems like the All-Star point guard has a change of heart and said that he wants to keep all his options open in the 2019 NBA free agency.
Kareem on AD saga: "When you have the opportunity to play professional sports, there’s only so many things that you can get done, because that clock is always ticking...Guys will do what they think is needed so that they can get the total satisfaction."https://t.co/A71JFWPbMZ— Michael Lee (@MrMichaelLee) February 17, 2019
Danny Ainge’s condition before going all-in for Anthony Davis makes a lot of sense. If Kyrie Irving leaves next summer, it will be best for the Celtics to focus on developing their young core instead of emptying their treasure chest just to acquire Davis from the Pelicans. Davis will undeniably be an incredible acquisition for the Celtics but without Irving and some of their talented young core, it remains unknown if he can bring a Larry O’Brien Trophy in Boston alone.
The departure of Kyrie Irving will deeply hurt the Celtics. However, when they lost Irving to injury last season, the Celtics have shown that they are capable of competing the Eastern Conference. If they fail to re-sign Irving, the Celtics could bring back Terry Rozier, who is set to become a restricted free agent after the 2018-19 NBA season. Unlike when they are sharing the court with Irving, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown look more comfortable and don’t need to make adjustments to their games when playing alongside Rozier.