Anthony Davis still wants to be traded out of New Orleans.
This isn’t a surprise. David Griffin — the new Grand Poobah in New Orleans — made a very public play about trying to keep Davis in a Pelicans’ uniform, but that was always mostly about perception (both with fans and other agents/players about how the organization is different now). He was always going to have to deal Davis.
Talk in Boston about Davis has picked up in the wake of their disappointingly early exit from the playoffs. The Celtics were always seen as the team with the right mix of good young players, draft picks, and a veteran or two that New Orleans would want in a trade.
However, what if Kyrie Irving leaves? That would be just fine with Celtics fans after his playoff struggles, but the plan was always to pair Irving and Davis. If Irving bolts for New York or Los Angeles or wherever, should Boston still make the trade? Could they keep Davis past the summer of 2020, when he is a free agent? David Aldridge of The Athletic has an update on that front:
I’ve heard that Davis wouldn’t completely rule out staying with the Celtics without Irving, but the odds of him re-upping in that scenario are significantly lower.
That’s the smart approach from Davis, the one Paul George took in Oklahoma City (and maybe Kawhi Leonard took in Toronto) — don’t decide before the first game what you’re going to do the next July. Let it play out.
That said, if Boston has to send Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum out to New Orleans to make the trade work, what does this team look like? Davis has already done the “me against the world” thing in New Orleans, he wants to be on a better team now.
There is still so much up in the air that predicting draft night trades and July moves are impossible. This much we know, however: Danny Ainge has a lot of work to do in Boston.