Anthony Davis trade rumors: Why Celtics can't acquire Pelicans star due to Rose Rule

Amid all of the talk of the Los Angeles Lakers being willing to trade their young core for Anthony Davis, the Boston Celtics are being forced to sit on their hands. While Danny Ainge and the Celtics have not been shy in hiding their interest for Davis, the Rose Rule prevents the Celtics from trading for Davis until July 1 unless they want to involve Kyrie Irving in a package.

The Celtics, of course, acquired Irving via trade from the Cavaliers before last season. Irving was a designated player, as is Davis. The Rose Rule states that a team is not allowed to have two designated players on their roster at the same time. So if the Celtics wanted to trade for Davis in-season, they would have to include Irving (whose value is diminished anyways as he's playing on an expiring contract).

For the Pelicans, that means it might behoove them to wait until the offseason to trade Davis so that they can field the Celtics' offers. The Celtics may have one of the better trade packages for them, and although they are reportedly not high on Davis' list of preferred teams, part of that is due to Irving's tenuous situation with the team. If Irving does sign an extension, it may drive up Davis' interest in Boston.

With that being said, it's ultimately up to the Pelicans. Although Davis can give his list of preferred destinations, the Kawhi Leonard situation made it clear that NBA teams will do what benefits them. Regardless, the Celtics are a major piece in this puzzle, so the Pelicans may want let the Feb. 7 trade deadline pass without letting Davis go just yet while they wait for the Celtics to sort their situation with Irving out.

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