After over two years of planning and preparing for the possibility that Anthony Davis becomes available via trade, it’s a cruel reality for Danny Ainge and his front office that the Celtics are forced to watch and wait until July, hoping that their dream of landing the MVP candidate does not come crashing to a halt before they take their shot.
The odds continue to remain in favor of the Celtics getting a chance to make a bid after the trade deadline. The chatter out of New Orleans over the past 48 hours continues to emphasize that patience is going to be prioritized when handling the future of Davis and maximizing the return for the franchise.
Still, amid all the posturing and leaks from Rich Paul and/or the Lakers that are trying to steer Davis towards Los Angeles, a tough choice has to be decided upon by Ainge over upcoming months and potentially in the next eight days. If things get serious with New Orleans and another suitor ahead of the trade deadline, the Celtics may need to put an offer on the table for Davis with a promise it will be there in July for New Orleans to prevent them from pulling the trigger on a deal now. It’s an unlikely hypothetical given the circumstances and most teams (i.e. the Lakers) don’t have enough assets to force the Celtics’ hands here.
Still, some rivals (Philadelphia) have enough pieces to do it and could have the incentive to make a big addition and block their biggest rivals in the East from landing the best trade asset the league has seen in years.
So, if this situation arises, what exactly is Danny Ainge willing to give up for Davis with the Memphis and Sacramento picks? Jayson Tatum? Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart? Tatum and Brown? All of the above? How much of that group is he willing to commit for a guy who might leave after a year?
Those hypotheticals will need to be sorted out and evaluated over the next week and into the summer. However, Wednesday night provided a valuable reminder of just the type of potential these young players have at their best as Boston cruised to a 126-94 blowout win over the Hornets behind a sensational second half on both ends of the floor without Kyrie Irving (strained hip)
Tatum set the tone