The Boston Celtics offseason now is in full swing, and that means the rumor mill is packed with speculation regarding Kyrie Irving’s impending decision.
Lingering above their point guard’s free agency remains the Celtics’ pursuit of New Orleans Pelicans big man Anthony Davis. Boston is among a host of teams, including the Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers, New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets, that reportedly have shown interest in Davis, according to Shams Charania of the Athletic.
So how does Irving’s decision impact that interest? Apparently, not that much.
The Celtics plan to pursue Davis with or without Irving, per Charania’s report:
“Several teams — including the Celtics — are aggressive about pursuing Davis understanding they would potentially lose him after one season, when he is set to become a free agent. The Celtics want to pursue Davis and believe in their roster with or without Kyrie Irving, league sources said.”
Danny Ainge and Boston’s front office would be taking quite a gamble in leveraging assets for Davis without a guarantee that he stays for more than one season. The Celtics likely would have to include young players like Jayson Tatum and/or Jaylen Brown in a trade package for Davis, with Marcus Smart also providing a salary-matching element to the potential deal.
Once again, trading away valued players and draft picks for a player who could potentially leave after just one season carries some extreme risk. Could the Celtics convince him to stick around? Only time would tell, similar to Paul George’s scenario in Oklahoma City and Kawhi Leonard’s in Toronto.
Pelicans general manager David Griffin prefers to move Davis before the June 20 NBA Draft, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, so Boston will need to determine its course of action very soon.
Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports