In the months since New Orleans Pelicans big man Anthony Davis made his trade request public, the Boston Celtics have been mentioned as one of the top candidates to trade for him this summer. However, a recent series of tweets from Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders suggests that the Celtics aren’t just moving on from the idea of trading for Davis, but also the prospect of re-signing point guard Kyrie Irving in free agency this summer.
As cited on Monday by NESN, Kyler started out on Thursday by tweeting that he is “not sold” on the chances of the Celtics joining the Anthony Davis sweepstakes in the 2019 offseason. He added that based on what he’s heard from “behind the scenes,” the Celtics are not functioning like a team that wants to trade for Davis and re-sign Irving, but rather as an organization that is making plans that are “counter” to a future with both superstars.
In a separate report that was also published on Monday, NESN again cited Kyler, this time sharing his tweet on Friday that suggested the Celtics are focusing on their young core, specifically on forward Jayson Tatum and wingman Jaylen Brown, both of whom were No. 3 overall draft picks in recent years. According to the Basketball Insiders reporter, the Celtics are considering potential trades and draft scenarios that would allow them to add players who could properly complement the two youngsters going forward.
Clarifying his earlier tweet claiming that the Celtics might be planning for a future without Kyrie Irving, Kyler’s Friday post added that per sources familiar with the situation, Boston is “open” to re-signing the point guard, but “skeptical” that they would be successful in doing so.
Despite entering the 2018-19 season with hopes of winning an NBA championship, the Celtics struggled at various points and finished their recently concluded campaign with a 51-31 record and the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference. Boston made it to the Eastern Conference Semifinals and a matchup against the first-seeded Milwaukee Bucks but ended up losing in five games.
Commenting on the series of tweets shared by Kyler, particularly the one he sent on Friday, NESN wrote that it’s doubtful the Celtics would be competitive with a lineup anchored by Tatum, Brown, veteran wingman Gordon Hayward, and young combo guard Marcus Smart, plus some “new pieces” that could be added in the offseason. The outlet’s Dakota Randall opined that without Irving, Boston would likely be taking a “step back,” but added that the team also might be “better off without him” if everything goes as planned.
As for Kyler’s suggestion that the Celtics might be moving on from Anthony Davis, Boston-based radio station 98.5 The Sports Hub wrote on its website that this could be because the team doesn’t want to give up a bunch of valuable assets for a possible one-year rental. As noted by the outlet, Davis had previously been rumored to view the Celtics as a “one-and-done” option, given that he will be eligible to enter free agency in the summer of 2020.