While new Pelicans GM David Griffin tries to make a last-ditch effort to get Anthony Davis to reconsider New Orleans, the Celtics continue to be among the top teams mentioned as a potential trade partner. There is a reason talks between the Pelicans and Lakers never were perceived to be serious.
Thanks to a weird NBA salary cap rule, the Celtics were not able to trade for Davis prior to the trade deadline because Boston would have had to trade Irving as part of any potential deal based on the rules. This summer, the Celtics can join the bidding war for Davis without the rule applying since Irving is a free agent.
Boston can arguably offer New Orleans the best package thanks to the number of talented young players on their roster combined with future draft picks. Given the lack of success for the Celtics this season, compared to preseason expectations, Boston could be more willing to shuffle the deck. The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported in February that the Celtics are willing to consider a trade involving Jayson Tatum for Davis.
The Celtics are playing to win it all — but they are also focusing on winning in June and July, too. Around the NBA’s Feb. 7th trade deadline, Boston made their intentions clear to the New Orleans Pelicans surrounding their pursuit of All-NBA star Anthony Davis after the season, league sources told The Athletic: Everyone can be available.
Ainge and his front office have constructed the Celtics delicately to compete now while challenging to acquire any superstar player via trade because of the assets and young talent they have compiled. The Celtics have eyed pairing Davis and All-Star guard Kyrie Irving, which could also clinch the re-signing of Irving.
Jayson Tatum on Trade Rumors: “I’ll Play for Whomever”
Tatum has taken the trade rumors in stride. The Celtics forward has noted several times that he is willing to play wherever if he is traded.
“Trade rumors don’t bother me,” Tatum noted to The New York Times. “They’re talking about trading me for guys like Anthony Davis. So, I mean, I must be doing something pretty well.” When pressed on whether this bothered him, he didn’t budge: “I love the game of basketball. Being traded is part of the game. I’ll play for whomever. It’s something I can’t control.”
Pelicans Coach Alvin Gentry Noted AD Got “Bad Advice”
Davis requested a trade during the 2018-19 season, but the Pelicans opted to hold onto the all-star big man. Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry noted Davis got “bad advice.”
“I think he’s a great kid,” Gentry explained to ESPN. “I think he’s a very good kid. I think he’s a solid guy. … I think he got some bad advice. You know me to just tell the truth. I’ll leave it at that,” Gentry said. “But there’s nothing wrong with AD. He’s a good solid guy with good character. That’s the way I feel.”
CBS Sports Adam Schein suggested that the Davis to Boston rumors will start to heat up again this off-season.
“Don’t be surprised to hear the Anthony Davis trade rumors start to heat up with the Boston Celtics,” Schein noted on Twitter. “If there’s one guy that can save Boston, it’s this guy…[the trade] checks every box.”