Despite a Los Angeles Lakers are Anthony Davis' preferred destination in a potential trade away from the New Orleans Pelicans, and that he would not sign an extension with any other team, Boston Celtics general manager Danny Ainge remains determined to try to land Davis, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.that the
The Celtics have long been rumored to be interested in Davis, and they could potentially offer the Pelicans one of the more attractive return packages that they would see. However, the Celtics can't trade for Davis until the offseason, as they already traded for Kyrie Irving as a designated player, and NBA teams can only have one designated player on their roster who they traded for at a time. If the Pelicans do hold onto Davis until the offseason, the Celtics could quickly become the favorite to land the perennial All-Star.
"Still, Boston looms as a threat to every team in the process once the Celtics are no longer constrained from adding a player on a designated rookie extension. After Kyrie Irving -- whose contract is under the same extension -- becomes a free agent July 1, Boston is able to officially acquire Davis in a trade. An agreement could be in place well before that date and finalized July 1.
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."
In short, the Celtics would be willing to do whatever it takes to land Davis this summer, even though he could walk away and sign elsewhere when he hits unrestricted free agency in the summer of 2020. This would be a risky move on Boston's part, who will be back in action on Wednesday night when they host the Hornets (7:30 p.m. ET -- Watch on FuboTV with NBA League Pass add-on), as landing Davis from New Orleans would take virtually all of the appealing assets that they have been stacking, and if he were to walk, they'd be left with a barren roster.
We have seen a couple of other organizations take similar risks recently: when the Thunder traded for Paul George in 2017, and when the Raptors traded for Kawhi Leonard this past summer, as both were on the last year of their contracts. Leonard's future remains up in the air, but the move worked out for the Thunder, as they were able to convince George to ink a long-term deal. If the Celtics did indeed trade for Davis this summer, they would clearly be banking on their ability to do the same.