BOSTON (CBS) — Anthony Davis wants out of New Orleans, and the Pelicans will be listening to offers ahead of the Feb. 7 NBA trade deadline.
That isn’t great news for the Boston Celtics. They certainly have the pieces and assets to make an intriguing offer for Davis, perhaps even the best offer. But thanks to the NBA’s “Rose Rule,” the Celtics would have to sit out the AD Sweepstakes until the summer when Kyrie Irving opts out of his contract. That’s not an ideal situation for the franchise that has reportedly been clamoring at the opportunity to acquire Davis for years.READ MORE: Dr. Mallika Marshall's Answer To Viewer's Question Leads To Breast Cancer Diagnosis
But just because the offers come in doesn’t mean New Orleans has to make a deal by next week’s deadline. And that’s exactly how they’re playing it, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. The Pelicans won’t make a deal unless they receive “an overwhelming package for the franchise’s star,” according to Woj.
The Los Angeles LeBrons … er Lakers … are expected to make an “aggressive push” for Davis, and the unibrowed superstar would prefer to wear purple and gold in his future. He can opt out of his deal after next season, and there’s the chance that if anyone other than L.A. acquires Davis at the deadline or over the summer, they would be doing so on a rental basis. That could just be a power play by Davis and his agent, trying to force the Pelicans to make the deal they want now, rather than later.READ MORE: Despite Nor'Easter, Tourists Flock To Salem To Celebrate Halloween
But if no deal happens before next Thursday, would Davis being a potential one-year rental scare away Danny Ainge? Not at all, according to Wojnarowski:
GM Danny Ainge is undeterred on making a trade for Davis, even without an assurance that he would agree to an extension with the Celtics, league sources said. Boston has been calling New Orleans for the past year-plus on Davis, and has gathered multiple first-round picks and young players to include in a package for him. Davis has a strong relationship with Irving, and Boston knows that trading for Davis would assuredly perish any possibility of Irving changing his mind and leaving the Celtics in free agency this summer.
It would be gigantic risk to give up everything Ainge has built over the last six years to bring in Davis for potentially one season, but Trader Danny would be banking on Irving (who will hopefully follow through on his proclamation to re-sign with the C’s long-term after opting out) convincing Davis to stick around and help him try to raise some banners in Boston. And while the Lakers always seem to be the preferred destination for players looking to put on a new uniform, Paul George is still in Oklahoma City and Kawhi Leonard seems pretty happy in Toronto.
While the timing of Davis’ trade request isn’t great for the Celtics, and allllllllll of those Lakers rumors won’t make anyone feel any better about the situation, it sounds like the Pelicans are willing to wait until Boston can join the mix in July. That should get New Orleans the best-possible offer for their disgruntled superstar, even if they have to wait five months to make the deal.MORE NEWS: More Than 440,000 Lose Power As Nor'easter Hits Massachusetts
But the AD rumors will continue to swirl over the next week, and until Feb. 8 arrives, each one of them is going to make the Celtics feel a bit queasy. Buckle up, this one could get bumpy.