Despite receiving plenty of interesting trade offers before the February NBA trade deadline, the New Orleans Pelicans decided to keep All-Star center Anthony Davis for the rest of the 2018-19 NBA season so that teams like the Boston Celtics could join the bidding war in the summer of 2019. Having young and promising players like Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown and a plethora of future first-round picks. The Celtics are believed to be the team that can offer the best trade package to the Pelicans in exchange for Davis.
However, as the 2019 NBA offseason draws closer, it seems like the Celtics are no longer 100 percent sure about emptying their treasure chest to bring Anthony Davis to Boston next summer. Celtics President of Basketball Operations and General Manager Danny Ainge may have expressed his intention to make their all their players available in trade discussions, but Boston’s decision to go all-in for Davis will likely depend on Kyrie Irving’s free agency. Citing a report from Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, Tom Westerholm of MassLive revealed that the Celtics could “pivot away” from trading for Davis if Irving takes his talent somewhere else next July.
“According to Adrian Wojnarowski, speaking on ESPN’s 2019 Mock Draft special on Tuesday, the Celtics may have to pivot away from trading for Davis if Irving leaves — a possibility many have speculated, but which Boston resisted initially. If the Celtics do pivot away from Davis, Wojnarowski said they won’t look to get younger. Instead, they would attempt to package picks and assets to improve their team and win now.”
Kyrie Irving and his impending free agency have been one of the most talked about topics in the league in the past months. After a season filled with drama and frustrations, most people expected Irving to leave the Celtics and chase for his second NBA championship title somewhere else. If they fail to re-sign Irving, trading the likes of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown for Anthony Davis no longer makes sense for the Celtics.
However, as Wojnarowski noted, the Celtics are unlikely to go into a rebuild mode if they lose Kyrie Irving next summer. Instead of taking a different route, the Celtics will look to add quality players who could help them remain competitive in the Eastern Conference next season. In the potential departure of Irving, the Celtics may also consider bringing Terry Rozier back in the 2019 NBA free agency.
If the Celtics back out with their plan to go after Anthony Davis, the Los Angeles Lakers are expected to become the new favorite to land “The Brow” in the 2019 NBA offseason.