BOSTON (CBS) — If the Celtics want to trade for Anthony Davis this summer, the superstar’s agent has a warning for Danny Ainge and company: Davis will be a one-year rental.
Davis is heading into the last year of his contract with New Orleans, and has made it clear that he doesn’t want to be a Pelican anymore. Davis and his agent, Rich Paul, created quite the soap opera last winter when they made his trade demands known, essentially trying to get David to the Los Angeles Lakers.
It led to plenty of conspiracy theories, considering Paul is best buds with LeBron James, whom he also represents. It was a pretty transparent attempt to get his two biggest clients together.
Now, Paul is sending a pretty public warning to the Celtics — and any team that isn’t the Lakers or New York Knicks, Davis’ preferred destinations.
“They can trade for him, but it’ll be for one year,” Paul said in an interview with Sports Illustrated. “I mean: If the Celtics traded for Anthony Davis, we would go there and we would abide by our contractual [obligations] and we would go into free agency in 2020. I’ve stated that to them. But in the event that he decides to walk away and you give away assets? Don’t blame Rich Paul.”
That is quite the warning shot to Boston, with Paul essentially daring them to trade away all their assets for a single season of Davis in green. But he also made it clear that Davis will be testing the free agent waters next summer no matter where he lands.
“Where he’s going to land? I have no idea,” Paul says. “And it don’t matter. We’re going into free agency. Why does it matter to me where he goes? Earth: We’re going into free agency. He has a year, he has to play. But after that, I can’t say it no bigger: WE ARE GOING INTO FREE AGENCY. 2020: ANTHONY DAVIS WILL BE IN FREE AGENCY.”
Paul can’t stop the Celtics from cashing in their young assets and draft picks and trading for Davis, so this is his next best move. The Lakers desperately need another star alongside LeBron, and can’t afford to waste another year while they wait for Davis to become a free agent. The Celtics currently pose the biggest threat of that happening.
Scare tactics don’t always work with Ainge, who is not afraid to make a risky trade. If he thinks Paul is full of it and that the Celtics can convince Davis to re-up on a max contract next summer, he’s going to pull the trigger, even if it comes at a gigantic cost. But if Paul and Davis are serious, and their minds are set on playing in Los Angeles, the Celtics could be left with nothing in return after their one year of Davis. What a predicament.
Who knows what is going to happen in the end, but Danny Ainge has a pretty tough summer ahead.