In the immortal words of George Costanza, “You wanna get nuts? Let’s get nuts!” with Boston Celtics trade ideas.
This was supposed to be the summer the Celtics put the finishing touches on their most recent rebuild. The idea, or so we all thought, was Kyrie Irving would re-sign, and then Boston would trade for another star — like, say, Anthony Davis — to form a superteam.
It doesn’t look like it’s going to work out that way, though. All the rumors and reports seem to indicate Irving is ready to go back on his preseason pledge, and the Celtics don’t sound very convinced Irving will be back in green next season.
That led many of us to believe the Celtics won’t pursue Davis. The New Orleans Pelicans big man can become a free agent after next season and seemingly has his eyes set on long-term locations other than Boston. But might the Celtics still make a push and sacrifice a young, talented core in order to land Davis and take a run with him as their centerpiece?
According to reports, yes. And New Orleans sports anchor Fletcher Mackel even reported Thursday night that he spoke with an NBA source who thinks the Celtics are still the team Davis winds up with this summer.
Despite no guarantees Davis will be anything more than a one-year rental, Mackel also says Celtics swingman Jayson Tatum is the player the Pelicans want the most.
Mackel even tossed out a trade proposal.
Boston receives: Anthony Davis
New Orleans receives: Jayson Tatum, Marcus Smart, (at least) the No. 14 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft and at least one of Robert Williams, Semi Ojeleye or Geurschon Yabusele
With the way Mackel phrased the tweet, it’s hard to say whether the proposal is a legitimate rumor he’s heard or just speculation. Regardless, it’s an interesting debate, and if he has a source who says the Celtics are the most likely landing spot, then there’s clearly some sort of match between the two teams’ assets.
All of that being said, it feels like a lot for the Celtics to part with in order to get one year of Davis. You do have to give up something to get something, especially for a player like Davis who’s an MVP candidate when healthy and motivated. As for the contract, Paul George proved it’s possible to convince a player to stay after just one season, and the Celtics might still be kicking themselves after not taking that risk last summer to acquire Kawhi Leonard.
It’s also hard to pinpoint the best course of action when you don’t what will happen with free agents this summer, but the NBA draft is just a couple of weeks away, which means the Celtics — and the Pelicans — might have to make their decisions sooner than later.