Boston has the players — specifically Jayson Tatum — and picks it would take to swing a Davis trade, but considering what’s in the two paragraphs above this, Ainge is holding back his best potential offer, reports Adam Himmelsbach of the Boston Globe.
It is widely known that the Celtics have the shiniest collection of assets for a potential Davis deal, but there are questions about how far they would open their treasure chest. One league source said the uncertainty surrounding Davis’s long-term future in Boston has thus far limited the Celtics’ willingness to overwhelm New Orleans with an offer.
This is bad for the Pelicans on two fronts. First, they don’t get the players from Boston that they most covet.
Beyond that, it hurts the Pelicans’ leverage in trade talks with the Lakers, the current frontrunners to land Davis. New Orleans reportedly would like Kyle Kuzma in a deal, but the Lakers have not yet made him available. That’s why the sides are trying to find a third team to get in on the trade, to get the Pelicans players they would prefer.
There are still a lot of moving parts for this trade and into this summer (and the injury to Kevin Durant could have an impact on Irving and Davis). It could end a lot of ways. However, the idea of pairing Davis and Irving in Boston seems a longshot now.