The Boston Celtics made it through the NBA trade deadline, achieving their primary objective: survive and advance.
The Celtics made a minor move, reportedly trading Jabari Bird to the Atlanta Hawks in a deal that will open a roster spot, perhaps to add a buyout player down the road.
But Boston’s biggest win of the day centered around what didn’t happen. The trade deadline came and went without the New Orleans Pelicans trading Anthony Davis to the Los Angeles Lakers, meaning Boston will have its shot to make a deal with New Orleans, and none of us will have to worry about the “Rose Rule” any longer.
Davis, according to reports, wanted to go to the Lakers. He and his camp seemingly leaked his trade request in an attempt to put pressure on the Pelicans to move fast and ultimately trade him to LA.
But after fumbling plenty of dealings in the past, Dell Demps and the Pelicans front office handled this one perfectly, calling Davis’ bluff and ensuring they hear all offers before dealing their franchise player.
Now, the Celtics have a few months to really decide what they want to do about Davis. Presumably, Danny Ainge and his staff are going to make a huge offer to the Pelicans as they have reportedly eyed Davis for a long time. Whether they can get long-term buy-in remains to be seen, and the suddenly uncertain Kyrie Irving situation undoubtedly will play a role in this all, too.
The Pelicans are going to ask for the moon and any first-round picks the moon also might possess, even just for one season of Davis, who can hit free agency after the 2019-20 season. He’s that good. The Celtics have the picks, and they have the players, and we’ll spend the next four months debating the merits of including Jayson Tatum in a potential deal for Davis.
But the Celtics have to be relieved to have even a chance at Davis, and they’ll get to do so after this current season for which they still have high hopes.
If all goes right this summer, though, the Celtics will have even higher hopes in the near future.
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