Boston Celtics All-Star guard Kyrie Irving appears headed for free agency, and likely the Brooklyn Nets, after just two injury-plagued seasons in Boston, as The Inquisitr reported. But the seemingly imminent departure of Irving has not stopped Celtics President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge from continuing his pursuit of the New Orleans Pelicans’ six-time All-Star center Anthony Davis, according to media reports out of Boston.
Both Davis and his agent, Rich Paul, have vowed that if traded to the Celtics, Davis would remain in Boston for only one season and then enter free agency himself, according to Sports Illustrated. Ainge has not been deterred from his efforts to assemble a package of assets that could be traded to the Pelicans in exchange for the 26-year-old, seven-year veteran.
Paul is also the agent who represents LeBron James, who, in his first year with the Los Angeles Lakers, failed to make the NBA playoffs for only the third time in his 16-season career, and first since 2005, according to Basketball Reference. In fact, the 2018-2019 season was that first that saw an NBA Finals series without James since 2011.
NBA experts believe that Davis is intent on joining James with the Lakers, but if Ainge could bring Davis to Boston instead, Irving may be persuaded to re-sign with Boston. But even if Irving departs, as seems likely, and Davis remains for only one season, “word out of Boston is that (Ainge is) going all-in, Kyrie or no Kyrie,” to acquire Davis, according to Celtics Life.
Irving becomes a free agent on June 30, and has left open the possibility that he could remain with the Celtics, but after he fired his longtime agent this week and will now apparently sign with the Roc Nation sports agency, Irving is now widely expected to be Brooklyn-bound, according to ESPN.
Roc Nation founder Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter formerly owned shares in the Brooklyn Nets and reportedly still retains shares in the Barclays Center, the arena that houses Nets home games, leading to speculation that Jay-Z would “gift” Irving to the Nets this offseason.
The Celtics have the “shiniest collection of assets for a potential Davis deal,” in terms of young players and upcoming draft picks, according to a report Friday by the Boston Globe.
“The opportunity to acquire a superstar such as Davis has been the goal all along as they stockpiled assets and young players,” the Boston Globe wrote. “They will continue to pursue the possibility regardless of Irving’s future with the team.”