The New Orleans Pelicans’ decision not to trade Anthony Davis to the Los Angeles Lakers earlier this month perhaps stemmed from the Boston Celtics’ expected pursuit of the six-time All-Star this summer, when the NBA’s “Rose Rule” no longer will prevent the C’s from joining the sweepstakes.
But can the Celtics really trump the Lakers’ best offer?
Nick Wright expressed doubt Tuesday on FS1’s “First Things First” by pointing to Los Angeles’ reported pre-trade deadline offer of Kyle Kuzma, Brandon Ingram and Lonzo Ball plus draft picks and wondering why New Orleans would prefer Boston’s potential offseason package centered around Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. Basically, according to Wright, it’s no longer a given that Tatum and Brown are a better duo than Kuzma and Ingram — at least from a statistical perspective this season.
Of course, the Pelicans were wise to keep Davis past the Feb. 7 NBA trade deadline because Boston’s inclusion in trade talks this offseason should, in theory, maximize New Orleans’ potential return, even if the Pelicans ultimately opt for the Lakers’ offer or a package from some other team.
It’s interesting to consider the Celtics’ potential packages now versus the beginning of the season, though. Tatum and Brown haven’t built on last season’s solid playoff performances, largely due to Boston’s inconsistency as a team, and the Celtics’ treasure trove of draft picks doesn’t look quite as glamorous thanks to some recent developments across the NBA.
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