One week after Anthony Davis made public his trade request to the New Orleans Pelicans, an avalanche of news surrounding the potential future of the All-Star has hit the news on Monday afternoon. With fewer than 72 hours remaining until the trade deadline, let’s get caught up on the evolving scenarios surrounding the big man and how the Celtics factor into the equation.
Development No. 1: Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.com reports Davis has informed the Pelicans about a list of teams that Davis would be willing to commit to re-signing over the long term with after becoming a free agent in 2020. These teams include the Lakers, Clippers, Knicks and Bucks.
Development No. 2: Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times reports that the Lakers have upped their offer for Davis, offering Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, Brandon Ingram, Rajon Rondo, Lance Stephenson and two first round picks for Davis and Solomon Hill (a bad contract that runs through 2020).
On the surface, both of these reports look like very bad news for the Celtics and their potential pursuit of Davis, particularly in the wake of Anthony Davis Sr. speaking about publicly about his desire for his son not to play for Boston after the way they treated Isaiah Thomas.
When you pull back the curtain a little bit here and start connecting the dots and the timing of these reports, the news may not be as bad for Boston as it looks. Instead, this appears to be an orchestration or power play by Davis’ camp to try to get him to his preferred destination (Lakers) before the Celtics can even enter the bidding. Let’s look at a few of the facts here to understand why.
1. None of the teams on Davis’ preferred destinations have the assets to make a competitive offer for him right now outside of the Lakers. We covered this last week in the trade suitor power rankings. The Bucks don’t have any building block pieces signed for the long-term beyond Giannis Antetokounmpo and he’s not going anywhere. The Knicks traded away with their top asset (Kristaps Porzignis) last week and don’t have enough left to make an appealing offer for Davis now. That could change if they win the lottery, but that won’t happen until May.
The Clippers’ potential package is a little more intriguing