ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski recently joined Zach Lowe, where they discussed Davis’ future. Woj went on to say the Boston Celtics have had long had interest in AD (2:24 mark):
“Boston has been hawking Anthony Davis for years. They always hoped that it would be—whether it’s the end of this season or the beginning of next before the trade deadline—that they would gather up all those assets, all those picks Danny Ainge has, young players, and they’d be the team to be able to get Anthony Davis.
“But now you have L.A., and if they get shut out in free agency, they’re going to have to take all their young players to try to use them to get Anthony Davis.”
Rumors swirling around the 25-year-old star are nothing new. I recently wrote about a report that the Pelicans were “desperate” to keep AD. The clock is ticking until next summer when the Pelicans can offer their superstar a super-max contract extension (he has to make an All-NBA team for the 2018-19 to be eligible, which he is currently a lock for).
That contract would be worth $235 million over five years. If he accepts, he’d finish out the prime of his career in New Orleans, but will he ever have enough support to win it all there?
If Davis declines that extension, the Pelicans would be forced to trade him. If the Pelicans do decide to move AD, the Celtics and the Los Angeles Lakers make the most sense given their assets.
Why the Lakers?
Big city, bright lights, big endorsement deals, Klutch Sports, and running with LeBron James in his final years for a run at the title to start.
The Lakers currently have a lot of young, tradable assets in Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma, and Josh Hart, all who are on rookie contracts. LA would also have the money to throw at Davis when the time came, due to the number of short-term deals they could dump: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (one year, $12 million), Rajon Rondo (one year, $9 million), Lance Stephenson (one year, $4.4 million), Michael Beasley (one year, $3.5 million), and JaVale McGee (one year, $2.4 million). This team was constructed to compete this year, while also retaining the flexibility to go all-in for another star if needed.
Why the Celtics?
The Celtics are one of the best teams in the East, and adding a player of Davis’ caliber would certainly make them not only Eastern Conference monsters, but an actual “Superteam” and a favorite to win the NBA title.
Between their wealth of future draft picks and a crop of talented young players on rookie deals led by Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, the C’s have the most to offer the Pelicans. Then there is the Kyrie Irving factor.
The Athletic’s Jay King reported that Davis and Irving—signed through this season—have talked about the possibility of teaming up in Beantown. While playing with LeBron in LA would be theater worthy, the King is in the latter part of his career. Irving’s scoring and passing abilities would be the perfect complement to Davis’ game. The pairing would give Boston two young superstars teaming up in their prime. What more could the organization, fans, and The Brow and Uncle Drew ask for?
Davis is one of only a handful of players that have the ability to change the balance of power in the League, so until he signs the super-max, his name is always going to be floated around in every trade rumor possible. But, make no mistake about it, the Lakers and Celtics are going to go all-out in this arms race for Davis. If either team is successful, they would be in line to be the next Dynasty once the Warriors reign of terror is complete.