When the 2018-19 NBA season is officially over, the Boston Celtics are expected to be aggressive with their pursuit of New Orleans Pelicans All-Star center Anthony Davis. According to Frank Isola of The Athletic, the Celtics believe that the successful acquisition of Davis will boost their chance of re-signing Kyrie Irving in the 2019 NBA free agency. Several NBA teams, including the Los Angeles Lakers and the New York Knicks, are set to compete against the Celtics in acquiring Davis from the Pelicans.
Both the Lakers and the Knicks have an interesting collection of trade assets that could help the Pelicans speed up the rebuilding process in their post-Anthony Davis era. However, with the No. 1 overall pick already belonging to the Pelicans, Dan Favale of Bleacher Report believes that the Celtics can easily beat any trade package other NBA teams will offer for Davis next summer.
“Boston’s Davis chase received two boons during the lottery: New York didn’t get Zion Williamson, and Memphis’ first-round obligation not only rolled over to 2020, but the Grizzlies also ended up in a spot, at No. 2, that should coax them into starting over and ascribing more value to next year’s top-six protection and 2021’s unprotected status. This more than offsets the Lakers climbing to the No. 4 spot. The Celtics can still blow every other potential Davis package out of the water. Williamson’s fate was the only threat to their bargaining throne, and that pitfall is now neutralized courtesy of the Pelicans themselves.”
Back in January when Anthony Davis first requested a trade, I wrote that teams besides the Knicks/Lakers/Celtics should take a gamble on a rental a la Toronto/Kawhi or OKC/Paul George. I still believe it would be worth the risk https://t.co/fhsMpCFBQq
— Sean Highkin (@highkin) May 16, 2019
In the proposed trade deal put forth by Bleacher Report, the Celtics will be sending Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, Marcus Smart, the No. 20 pick, and a 2020 first-round pick to the Pelicans in exchange for Anthony Davis. The deal works on ESPN‘s NBA Trade Machine.
Trading Anthony Davis for a package including Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum is undeniably a no-brainer for the Pelicans. Brown and Tatum have shown lots of superstar potential since entering the NBA, and they could further improve their game once they move out of the shadow of Kyrie Irving. The young core of Brown, Tatum, and Zion Williamson definitely has the capability of accomplishing something big in New Orleans — and will make the Pelicans an exciting team to watch in the 2019-20 NBA season.
In the potential Anthony Davis trade, Celtics brass Danny Ainge will likely try to save at least either Jayson Tatum or Jaylen Brown. Favale thinks that trading the Sacramento Kings’ 2019 first-round pick and Robert Williams will be enough to remove Brown from the equation, but that the Celtics will need a “miracle” to acquire Davis without sending Tatum to New Orleans.