While the Celtics continue to be mentioned in Anthony Davis trade rumors, one major question shouldn’t be overlooked: What if Davis doesn’t want to play in Boston?
The Celtics can’t trade for Davis until after this season — unless they trade Kyrie Irving? — but it’s fairly obvious Boston plans to make a strong push for the Pelicans superstar if New Orleans doesn’t deal him before the Feb. 7 NBA trade deadline.
That said, Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium reported Friday, citing sources, that Boston isn’t a preferred long-term destination for Davis, who instead views the Celtics as a rental option.
Davis, who is eligible to sign a five-year, $240 million supermax contract after this season, is under contract through the 2019-20 campaign. He can opt out of his current deal and become a free agent in the summer of 2020.
The Celtics would be taking a huge risk by paying a king’s ransom for Davis if he doesn’t intend to sign a contract extension with Boston. They’ll almost certainly need to part with very valuable assets in exchange for the former No. 1 overall pick — maybe even Jayson Tatum — and Davis then could turn around and bolt after just one season in green.
The whole situation is complicated further by Irving’s impending free agency. Irving previously stated he intends to re-sign with Boston this offseason, when he’s slated to hit the open market, but the All-Star point guard changed his tune Friday morning, telling reporters, “Ask me July 1.”