New Anthony Davis trade rumors got cranked up a few notches this month. We saw Davis get a standing ovation from the TD Garden crowd when he visited Boston last week, and we had LeBron James openly recruit Davis to the Lakers. The Celtics and Lakers have clearly emerged as the two potential destinations for Davis to land in a trade, but timing will play an enormous factor in the new year. The Lakers best shot at acquiring Davis in a trade is if it happens before the February trade deadline in a few weeks. If this thing reaches a boiling point during the summer, the more it favors the Celtics.
ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, who is tied in to the dealings of Davis’ agent Rich Paul, does not believe a Davis trade is imminent. He discussed Davis’ chances of landing in Los Angeles or Boston with Tracy McGrady this week on The Jump.
Windhorst on new rumors: The Pelicans are not in the mood to trade him right now and I kind of get it. They could have a really good second half. Even though they’re in 12th place right now they’re only three games out of fourth. Even if you have to trade Anthony Davis, which will come in the summer, you want Boston to be in the mix if you’re the Pelicans. You want Boston to make those offers even if it means bringing those other offers up. Plus, you’d like to be able to offer Davis that extension. You can’t offer it now.
McGrady on new rumors: I wouldn’t do a deal with the Lakers if I’m the Pelicans. If I’m the Boston Celtics in this deal, I have an All-Star in Kyrie, I have other pieces that would be quality pieces and draft picks. But I don’t see it with the Lakers.
Windhorst on new rumors: The Lakers have this really difficult obstacle course in front of them. They need Anthony Davis to say I only want to be traded to the Lakers. And they need Anthony Davis to say I want to be traded to the Lakers now.
ESPN’s Zach Lowe also touched on the Davis rumors this week.
“The Celtics can outbid the Lakers in terms of raw trade assets. It’s unclear how much that would matter if Paul and Davis indicate that Davis would prefer to play in Los Angeles,” Lowe wrote. “It’s unclear whether Celtics general manager Danny Ainge would care or if he might decide that Davis is worth the risk of an expiring contract and that Boston should bet on its culture and winning roster. There are worries around the league that Davis will turn down long-term deals altogether and cycle – just as James did – between one and two year contracts until he reaches an age and stage in his career when he is ready to lock into something longer.”
This is great news for Celtics fans that want to see The Brow in Boston. That said, not everything is working in favor of Davis eventually being dealt to the Celtics. The Kings, Clippers and Grizzlies are all strong this season – which means those first round picks going to the Celtics won’t be worth nearly as much as originally expected. Perhaps one of those teams starts to slip in the rugged Western Conference, which is not inconceivable. But the draft pick end of this thing is certainly not going the Celtics’ way.
If those picks wind up being mostly insignificant in terms of being the centerpiece of a blockbuster trade, Danny Ainge will have no choice but to introduce Jayson Tatum into trade talks. Most Celtics fans draw the line at Tatum, but we are talking about landing arguably the best player in the entire NBA here. You can bet on all things NBA now at FanDuel Sportsbook by clicking the Bet Now button below.