Kyrie Irving said before the season he’d re-sign with the Celtics.
Lately, there have been rumors he’s reconsidering. Not everyone buys them, but the Knicks opening double-max cap space will kick those rumors back into high gear.
Whether Irving re-signs with Boston matters. What also matters: How Anthony Davis perceives the likelihood of Irving re-signing.
Davis has reportedly put out word he’ll re-sign with only the Lakers. That’s supported by the timing of his trade request. The Lakers can trade for him now. Boston effectively can’t trade for him until the summer.
But if he were more open to re-signing with the Celtics, they should offer more to New Orleans in a trade. And if the Celtics would offer more in a trade, New Orleans should be more resolved to wait on trading Davis until the offseason.
So, why doesn’t Davis want to join Boston?
Adrian Wojnarowski and Zach Lowe of ESPN:
The stance of Davis and his camp toward Boston is linked to their view of Kyrie Irving’s future, sources said. Davis and his camp no longer believe that Irving is a sure bet to re-sign with the Celtics this summer, and that’s the primary reason they insist on clumping Boston with a similar message to the 28 other teams: Buyer beware on a trade for Davis.
There’s someone at least tangentially connected to Davis’ camp who’s quite incentivized to convince Davis that Irving could leave the Celtics: LeBron James.
LeBron – who shares an agent, Rich Paul, with Davis – wants Davis on the Lakers. Embellishing, or even downright fabricating, Irving’s flight risk could help achieve that.
Of course, Davis knew Paul’s LeBron connection when hiring Paul. Getting to the Lakers might have been what Davis had in mind all along.
But the Celtics also know trading for Davis would make it difficult for Irving to leave this summer. And if Irving re-signs, that’d make it difficult for Davis to leave in 2020. That’s why Boston is still committed to trading for Davis.
If Davis is still available in the offseason, Davis’ view of this Irving rumor – accurate or not – will likely take care of itself.
However, Davis might not remain available this offseason. Because Davis is pushing for a trade now rather than waiting for the Celtics’ window – apparently due to concern about Irving’s future in Boston – the Lakers are making a strong push.