Despite receiving interest offers from several NBA teams before the February NBA trade deadline, the New Orleans Pelicans still decided to keep All-Star center Anthony Davis on their roster for the rest of the 2018-19 NBA season, believing that they could get a better trade package when they make him available on the trading block again next summer. When it comes to the trade partner who can offer the best package to the Pelicans for Davis, there is only one team that comes to most people’s mind: the Boston Celtics.
The Celtics were unable to engage in a trade discussion with the Pelicans before the February NBA trade deadline since according to a league rule, a team can only have one player who is signed under the “Derrick Rose Rule.” However, with the Pelicans yet to find Anthony Davis a new home, the Celtics are expected to do everything they can to bring “The Brow” to Boston in the 2019 NBA offseason.
According to Tim Bontemps of ESPN, there is one condition before Celtics President of Basketball Operations and General Manager Danny Ainge considers emptying his treasure chests for Anthony Davis. Before making any deal, the Celtics first need to have an assurance that Kyrie Irving will re-sign in the 2019 NBA free agency. If Irving stays in Boston, Bontemps believes that the chances that the Celtics will go all-in for Davis will “increase exponentially.”
“What happens with Anthony Davis this summer? If Irving recommits to Boston on a long-term deal, the chances of the Celtics trading for Davis increase exponentially. In a vacuum, the Celtics easily have the best package to offer the New Orleans Pelicans in such a deal, between their young players (namely Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown) and a trove of draft picks this year and beyond. But if Irving leaves, it would make the calculus for dealing for Davis far more fraught for Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge and his front office.”
Pelicans staffers have reportedly admitted that the Lakers’ trade package for Anthony Davis “was pretty attractive,” but say it looks different now with Brandon Ingram’s health situation. https://t.co/pzZpCAxOs0 pic.twitter.com/V2V0ta5s0H
— Silver Screen & Roll (@LakersSBN) May 7, 2019
That would definitely be a wise move for Danny Ainge. Throwing away lots of precious trade assets for Anthony Davis doesn’t make much sense if Kyrie Irving will be leaving in the 2019 NBA free agency. Instead of engaging in a blockbuster deal with the Pelicans, the Celtics could focus on building a title-contending team around Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. In the instance of a potential departure by Irving, they could immediately address their backcourt problem by bringing back Terry Rozier, who is set to become a restricted free agent next July.