The 2018-19 NBA season has yet to begin for the Boston Celtics.
Or the New Orleans Pelicans, for that matter.
But everybody’s favorite NBA rumor is still alive and well, it seems, as there’s already been two separate rumors linking the Celtics to Pelicans superstar and the seemingly-destined-to-leave-New-Orleans Anthony Davis in the last week alone.
First, The Athletic’s Jay King dropped a nugget last weekend that indicated that Celtics superstar Kyrie Irving, who has publicly stated his desire to re-sign with the Celtics next summer, has already reached out to Davis about a potential team-up in Boston.
“Several league sources have said they believe Davis could end up either with the Celtics or Lakers if the Pelicans were to move him,” King wrote (subscription required). “If he landed with the Celtics, he’d be reunited with former Team USA teammate Irving. The two have already spoken about what it would be like to play together in Boston, according to a league source.”
As if King’s word was not enough, veteran basketball writer Chris Sheridan joined in on the fun this week, pitching the Los Angeles Lakers and Celtics as the prohibitive favorites to land the 25-year-old Davis should he want out of New Orleans.
“No team is more primed to exchange a bushel full of assets than the Celtics, whose president, Danny Ainge, has long coveted Davis,” Sheridan wrote. “’Winning and being the best player on the floor every night matter most to Davis,’ according to the source, who spoke to Get More Sports on the condition of anonymity.”
To Sheridan’s point, the Celtics are downright loaded with assets ranging from tradable contracts (Marcus Smart’s new $11 million per year deal comes to find for a deal like this) to young players (Jaylen Brown, Terry Rozier) and a gigantic treasure trove of first-round draft picks, ranging from the 2019 Sacramento, top-one protected pick acquired in the Jayson Tatum trade to a Memphis first-round pick that could very well become unprotected and become the Celtics’ most valuable trade chip.
It is worth noting, however, that Davis recently signed on with Rich Paul’s Klutch Sports, which also represents Lakers superstar LeBron James. And given the fact that it’s no secret that James went to L.A. to create the next great Lakers team, getting in The Brow’s ear about their potential fit together in Hollywood early makes all the sense in the world for everybody.
Though under contract for another three seasons at over $25 million per year, the word that Davis could be on the outs in New Orleans comes with a lack of progress from the Pelicans into anything more than mid-round fodder for the Golden State Warriors. After all, it’s the Warriors who have handled Davis and Co. with ease in two playoff meetings over the last six years, and with the exit of DeMarcus Cousins (to Golden State) not making anything easier for AD’s path to postseason success.
A five-time All-Star and three-time member of the All-NBA First Team, the 6-foot-10 Davis is coming off a season in which he averaged a career-best 28.1 points and 2.2 assists per game, as well as a career-high 36:22 per game.