After a brief period of inactivity following the trade deadline and moving into the playoffs, the Anthony Davis trade rumors machine is starting to heat up again. Recent reports suggested that the Pelicans are open to three-team deals, while Davis apparently prefers either the Los Angeles Lakers or New York Knicks as a long-term destination. 

However, despite Davis’ apparent desire to play in either Los Angeles or New York City, the Boston Celtics are reportedly not giving up on their pursuit of the New Orleans Pelicans star. According to Shams Charania, the Celtics plan to be “aggressive” in trade talks involving Davis, despite the risk that he won’t re-sign next summer. Via The Athletic:

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. For Griffin and the Pelicans, the market for Davis could open even more after free agency begins, when the teams pursuing top free agents miss out on their targets.

Griffin has provided interested teams with a template for a deal, and he and his front office will pull the trigger only when a suitable deal emerges.

This will be a fascinating summer for the entire league, but especially for the Celtics, who lost in the second round of the playoffs after a disappointing regular season. Along with their pursuit of Davis, they’ll be vying for the signature of Kyrie Irving, who could be on the move after two seasons with the team. 

Perhaps the most interesting note from Charania’s report is not that the Celtics are still going to make offers for Davis — that much has been assumed for months — but that they’ll do so regardless of whether Irving is planning to return or not. Cashing in their best assets to pair Davis with Irving makes plenty of sense, because the risk of Davis not re-signing would be offset by that duo vaulting the Celtics right back into title contention. Getting Davis without Irving to play alongside him would bring the same risk without anywhere near as much upside. 

At this point, it seems clear that between their young players and various first-round picks, the Celtics can offer the Pelicans the best package for Davis. Whether they’re willing to pay that price for what could be a one-year rental, however, remains to be seen. 





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