The New Orleans Pelicans recently hired David Griffin as their new vice president of basketball operations and, according to ESPN, the first major task the team gave to the former Cleveland Cavaliers general manager is to find a deal for All-Star Anthony Davis that will be beneficial for the future of the franchise. Griffin did numerous deals during his time in Cleveland, including creating salary cap space to sign LeBron James and sending Anthony Bennett and Andrew Wiggins to the Minnesota Timberwolves to acquire Kevin Love.
In his recent article, Quenton S. Albertie of Celtics Wire discussed how the hiring of Griffin affects the chances of teams like the Boston Celtics and the Los Angeles Lakers of acquiring Anthony Davis in the 2019 NBA offseason. Compared to the time when former Pelicans general manager Dell Demps was the one pulling the strings, Albertie believes that the Lakers have now a “better chance” of pairing Davis with LeBron James in Los Angeles.
Aside from the “Godfather” trade package that they could offer to New Orleans, Griffin also has a strong bond with Lakers superstar James. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the Lakers already have the edge over the Celtics in their pursuit for Anthony Davis. Boston is believed to be the team that can offer the best trade package to the Pelicans and, as Albertie noted, Griffin also has a good relationship with Celtics President of Basketball Operations and General Manager Danny Ainge.
“However, the Celtics are expected to offer a trade package with at least three first-round picks and it’s possible that forwards Gordon Hayward and Jayson Tatum are a part of their trade package as well. Further, Griffin and Celtics president and general manager Danny Ainge have a relationship that extends back to their days with Phoenix, when Ainge was the head coach and Griffin was a video coordinator.”
In the potential trade discussion between the Celtics and the Pelicans next summer, Albertie believes that Boston could include Gordon Hayward, Jayson Tatum, and three future first-round picks in the trade package that they will send to New Orleans to acquire Anthony Davis. Some people may think that the Celtics are giving up too many precious trade assets for a player that could become an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2020, but Boston needs to make such offer in order to beat other NBA teams in their pursuit for Davis.
The Celtics will be hitting two birds with one stone in their successful acquisition of Anthony Davis. Aside from having one of the best active players in the NBA, the deal could also give the Celtics a strong chance of re-signing Kyrie Irving in the 2019 NBA free agency.