RUMOR: Kyrie Irving situation affected Celtics’ offer for Anthony Davis
The Boston Celtics were still considered to be potential favorites to land New Orleans Pelicans star Anthony Davis with less than a week to go before the 2019 NBA Draft.
After all, the Pelicans had abstained from dealing Davis at the February deadline in the hopes that they could strike up a dialogue with the Celtics given that the Rose Rule would no longer be in effect.
Even though Boston had some of the most attractive young assets in Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown in addition to a number of first-round picks and future considerations, their efforts to land Davis were derailed by the recent developments surrounding point guard Kyrie Irving.
In a season full of both on- and off-court drama, Irving bottomed out in Boston’s Eastern Conference semifinal loss to the Milwaukee Bucks. Consequently, Irving has already had a flirtatious courtship with the Brooklyn Nets.
According to Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald, Irving’s likely departure from the Celtics directly affected the team’s offer for Davis.
Yes, the Celts still tried to negotiate a trade with New Orleans, but according to a Pelicans source, the offers were understandably never as good as intimated back when there was still a reasonable belief Irving could be kept. In that scenario, it was presumed the Celtics would have opened their asset locker wider to take a shot at an Irving-Davis ticket for 2019-20, hoping that success would entice the latter to remain for a longer term.
The Celtics were reportedly very wary of giving up more than Tatum in a deal for Davis, which is perfectly logical given that Davis’ agent, Rich Paul, had said that his client would not sign a long-term deal with Boston following the 2019-20 season.
In the end, Boston watched as the Los Angeles Lakers pulled off a trade to bring AD to Tinseltown.