The Boston Celtics can’t trade for Anthony Davis until the offseason thanks to the NBA’s “Rose Rule,” but they’ll most certainly be linked to the six-time All-Star for as long as he remains with the New Orleans Pelicans.
ESPN.com this week published a piece highlighting eight Davis trades “we’d like to see,” with several writers suggesting scenarios that could play out either before Thursday’s NBA trade deadline or after this season. Kevin Pelton identified one package the Celtics should offer for Davis this summer.
Here’s the trade Pelton would like to see placed on the bargaining table:
Celtics get: Anthony Davis.
Pelicans get: Jayson Tatum, Aron Baynes, Jaylen Brown, Guerschon Yabusele, Semi Ojeleye.
And here’s Pelton’s breakdown of the offer:
The Celtics should offer Tatum only if they’re confident they can re-sign Davis in the summer of 2020. (According to a report by Wojnarowski, Boston isn’t on Davis’ list of teams.) Though both Tatum and Brown are a lot to surrender in return, Boston would potentially still have a strong starting five of Irving, Marcus Smart, Gordon Hayward, Davis and Al Horford, with the ability to re-sign free agents Marcus Morris and Terry Rozier to fill out the bench.
Meanwhile, New Orleans probably isn’t getting a better offer for Davis, even if the Celtics are unwilling to include the best of their draft picks. Tatum and Brown would replenish the Pelicans’ thin wing rotation and give them a chance to compete now with more upside ahead as they develop.
The whole Davis situation is tricky for Boston, and not just because the Celtics can’t trade for him until the offseason due to both him and Kyrie Irving being signed to designated rookie extensions. (Teams are allowed only one such player acquired via trade.)
Davis reportedly doesn’t view Boston as a long-term destination, so the C’s, therefore, would be taking a sizable risk by offering Tatum, among others, for a player who could bolt after just one season with the Green. And there’s also no guarantee Irving, who can opt out of his contract this offseason, will sign a long-term extension with Boston despite saying before this season he intends to do so.
The best-case scenario for the Celtics involves re-signing Irving, landing Davis and convincing the latter to sign a contract extension that keeps him in Boston for the foreseeable future. The worst-case scenario involves Irving leaving in free agency, the Pelicans trading Davis somewhere else and Boston moving forward with a core that’s far less appealing than what could’ve been.
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