It’s taken me basically this entire day to wrap my head around all of this Anthony Davis news. Eric had a short reaction to this news earlier as well (our views differ). First, as always, Woj blessed our timelines with this:
For everyone around the situation, it isn’t really news, and is something that has been expected for months. Danny Ainge has been salivating over the possibility for years and we’ve heard about the treasure trove of Celtic assets for probably longer than that. We’ve also heard about the now-infamous “Rose Rule” (allows a player finishing his rookie contract to sign for 30% of a team’s salary cap if they have been voted an All-Star Starter twice, been All-NBA twice, or have been named league MVP; Can only have 1 player on the roster on this deal) that prevents the Celtics from trading for Anthony Davis before July 1st since Kyrie Irving is already on this type of contract.
The trade deadline is February 7th (Next Thursday) and teams will be chomping at the bit to get a shot at Davis while the Celtics are forced to be dormant. Davis apparently wants to be traded to a contender after only having 1 series win in the postseason to show for his first 6+ years in the Association. The teams right off the bat that were said to be involved are the Lakers and Knicks. The Lakers make sense as LeBron wants a sidekick and these young guys aren’t doing the trick so far. The Knicks are the Knicks and New York is New York so they also seem like somewhere that could make sense, especially with a top pick to deal, and cap space in the summer.
For the Lakers, while there is urgency to put pieces around LeBron, it’s going to come at a steep price.
That’s just where LA must START in a potential deal for Davis, and that’s already quite the haul. Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, or more picks might have to be involved, or all 3 of those things. Davis is the biggest star on the market, arguably, since Kevin Garnett in 2007 and he’s due to turn 26 years old in March. He’s just entering the prime of his career while his previous 6 years in the league could be considered a prime in their own right. Davis is a budding megastar and it’s going to take a king’s ransom to get a hold of him.
The Knicks trade package would have to be based around their pick (could be a lottery ticket for Zion Williamson), Tim Hardaway Jr., Kevin Knox, and/or other young pieces (Trier, Mudiay, etc). That might not even be enough and it’s a possibility that they would need to get Kristaps Porzingis involved in the deal, which they might be hesitant on doing. With the cap-space and known ties that Kevin Durant, the Knicks could be a spot Davis would consider long term in time.
Playing off of the Knicks idea, rumors came out today that Kyrie Irving is still uncertain about his future in Boston.
Via Yahoo! Sports:
“Boston is not a top target for Davis, sources said. There’s a growing belief of uncertainty that Kyrie Irving will re-sign with Boston, sources said, even though he vowed to do so at the beginning of the season.”
Just when we all thought the “Kyrie’s leaving” takes were a thing of the past, they come up again. Kyrie is known to be a free-thinker and kind of a loose cannon in terms of what he says. While I’d be foolish to not at least acknowledge this report, I will have to see it to believe it. I’ve iterated over and over again how Kyrie is thinking about the future and Boston has the brightest one with the brinks truck to back up for him (sorry IT). With New York/LA now in the mix, these rumors will only grow louder as the season goes on. “He’s going home to play at MSG!” or “Kyrie and LeBron are reuniting and AD is coming with them!” or whatever other ideas there may be will be thrown out there. Before diving head first into all of this I’m going to need to see more reports and more concrete evidence out there.
While all of this is hypothetical, the question is what does this mean for the Boston Celtics and their pursuit of Davis? It means they’re going to have sweat for a bit and hold out hope that he does not get dealt before the deadline. They know in the end that they have the best package for Davis and that it makes more sense for the Pelicans to wait until the off-season. Think about it, if you’re the Pelicans, why trade Davis now when in July they could potentially stage a bidding war for him and get a better deal? They don’t even necessarily have to trade him to the Celtics, but the presence of Danny Ainge, and the presence of the assets the Celtics have will up the types of offers the Pelicans get from other teams. While maybe the Lakers aren’t budging on not including Ingram at the trade deadline, they might be apt to do so when Boston is possibly throwing Tatum or multiple first rounders in a deal. It’s not the Kawhi Leonard situation where he was actively considering sitting out seasons and basically held the organization hostage. Davis seems to want to do things the right way and already said he plans on playing the rest of this season wether he’s traded or not. It doesn’t make sense for New Orleans to get anxious and jump at the first deal they see. So as the Celtics, survive until February 7th at 3:00 PM, hope Davis is still a Pelican, and reconvene on July 1st.
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