The Boston Celtics have long been linked to Anthony Davis, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they should go after him this summer.
Anthony Davis may have only recently requested a trade from the New Orleans Pelicans, but the Boston Celtics have always viewed his as their endgame. Through all the assets they’ve acquired over the years, they’ve never pulled the trigger on any major deal.
Boston didn’t budge when Jimmy Butler was available or Paul George. General manager Danny Ainge refused to go after Kawhi Leonard just last summer. For years, he’s been waiting for New Orleans’ superstar to open the door they’ve been patiently waiting in front of for what seems like the longest of time.
Yet when that moment finally came near the trade deadline, the Cs were stuck, unable to even attempt an offer due to CBA rules unless it involved Kyrie Irving. Come June 30, that restriction will be lifted, allowing Boston to open up its treasure chest and present it to David Griffin. The only question, however, is in regards to what Ainge will actually allow Griffin to take for himself.
Had you asked the Celtics what they may have been willing to give up prior to the season, you would’ve heard just about every name on the roster. But those were simpler times when the prospect of a return by both Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward was supposed to put Boston over the championship hump.
Irving seemed all but committed to the Celtics after he voiced his intention to re-sign in a season-ticket holder event prior to the season. After the team chemistry was lacking all year and the team suffered a swift five-game exit in the second-round, Kyrie’s been linked to a number of teams, none of whom reside in Boston.
The six-time All-Star could certainly do the unexpected and re-sign with his current team, but all indications point to him moving elsewhere. That’s a problem for the Celtics and their dream scenario of pairing Irving with Davis to form one of the best duos in the NBA.
AD has apparently remained adamant in his stance on Boston, unlikely to re-sign should he be dealt there. That put the Cs on an uphill battle despite having Kyrie in the fold. With him gone, that climb becomes a lot steeper.
Without even a sliver of reassurance for a long-term future, would the Celtics really want to give up the farm and their future for Davis? Any deal would undoubtedly have to include Jayson Tatum. Despite an underwhelming sophomore season, many view him as a future star in this league, one Boston would like to build around.
Anthony Davis is a generational talent, but he’s expressed no desire to become a Celtic and would require a king’s ransom to acquire. To throw away everything that’s been built for what would likely be a one-year rental is the type of move that dooms a franchise long-term, similar to the Brooklyn Nets’ all-in move back in 2013.
Ainge has exuded incredible amounts of patience over the years, all to go after his white wail this summer. For as enticing a superstar as AD is, though, every aspect of a potential deal will work against the Cs.
He’s got to understand the incredible risk that would come from signing off on a blockbuster deal given what New Orleans would demand. It would be a tough pill to swallow in the present, but one that would ultimately keep the future bright in Beantown.