Anthony Davis is either really concerned about the long-term ramifications of playing for the Boston Celtics or he just doesn’t want to be in Boston — or both.
The New Orleans Pelicans star has expanded the list of teams with which he’d be open to signing a long-term extension after a trade, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported Monday citing sources. However, the Celtics are not among the “handful” of teams on Davis’ apparently growing list, per Wojnarowski.
A week ago, Davis informed the Pelicans of his desire to be traded, saying he was no longer committed to signing a long-term extension in New Orleans. The Los Angeles Lakers almost immediately emerged as Davis’ favorite, and the New York Knicks are a team with which he’d reportedly consider signing an extension. Until this point, every other — including the Celtics — was thought to be a rental situation, as Davis can opt out of his contract and hit free agency after next season.
All of this comes just days before the NBA trade deadline on Thursday, and as Wojnarowski pointed out, expanding the potential market could increase the likelihood Davis is traded before the deadline. However, this ultimately could be a power play to pressure on the Pelicans to trade him before Thursday. The Celtics have been infatuated with Davis pretty much his entire career, and they have one of the best collection of assets to offer New Orleans, but the Celtics can’t make a trade until the summer due to the Rose Rule. So if New Orleans is interested in what Boston might have to offer, the Pelicans would have to hold on to Davis for the rest of the season.
There is one way around that, though: If Boston trades Kyrie Irving, the Celtics would then be able to make a trade for Davis. However, the problem with that is part of the reason Davis isn’t high on Boston, according to reports, is his uncertainty as to whether Irving would be around for the long term. Regardless, the Celtics are reportedly still open to making a deal for Davis even without assurances he’ll sign on long term after next season, and acquiring the superstar could be the key to getting Irving to stay, too.