Boston president Danny Ainge has taken the long view of things. He can afford to, he has the kind of job security that allows for it.
So a few bumps in the road — like a rough playoffs for Kyrie Irving, or the results of the NBA Draft Lottery — does not change his plans, which have long been to pair Anthony Davis and Kyrie Irving. From Frank Isola of The Athletic:
The Lakers have a better roster and the fourth-overall pick. The Pelicans can find an attractive deal with the Lakers. Or Griffin may start having conversations with Boston Celtics president Danny Ainge, who has a young and talented roster plus first-round picks to trade. Ainge, according to sources, wants to re-sign Irving and believes he will do just that if the Celtics acquire Davis.
Celtics fans had their pitchforks and torches out after the playoffs and were ready to run Irving out of town after he shot 35.6 percent against Milwaukee, struggling both from the floor and in leading the Celtics. He did not make the team better around him in that series. Despite a strong regular season that will have him back on an All-NBA team, his playoff performance raised the question if he can be option No. 1 on a contending team.
With Davis, Irving wouldn’t need to be. And, in theory, many of the young players Irving seemed to struggle to relate to would be gone in the deal. That could be tempting to Irving, plus the Celtics can offer more guaranteed money than any other team.
Irving has to figure out what he really wants because he will have offers and options from New York to Los Angeles. Literally. And if Ainge lands Davis, would Irving stay? Irving is his own guy, he is unpredictable.
But Ainge sounds willing to still bet he would.