What, think the Boston Celtics were going to magically leave the NBA rumors market?
Danny Ainge and the Celtics trading the No. 1 pick in the 2017 NBA draft to the Philadelphia 76ers, surrendering the rights to top pick Markelle Fultz, isn’t some random move.
In fact, it might be part of a much bigger plan.
According to Chris Mannix of The Vertical, the Celtics might have eyes on New Orleans Pelicans big man Anthony Davis:
Is a blockbuster, player-heavy deal in the offing? As of now, league sources told The Vertical that isn’t the case. Boston – everyone, really – would love to get its hands on Anthony Davis. But Davis is tied to a manageable contract through 2021, and the Pelicans appear committed to giving the Davis-DeMarcus Cousins pairing a full season together.
The rumor mill can’t help but suggest any and every big name to the wheeling-and-dealing Celtics. But it’s no secret Boston wants an upgrade underneath the basket to balance out a backcourt-heavy roster headlined by Isaiah Thomas.
That said, Davis doesn’t seem like a trade option. He’s under contract for a long time and the Pelicans have no reason to move him, especially not after giving up so much to get DeMarcus Cousins next to him. Maybe this changes if the two implode next season, but for now, it’s hard to imagine the Celtics can convince the Pelicans to do a deal.
Alas, Boston will remain a top-flight destination either way. The team just made the Eastern Conference Finals earlier than expected, so maybe Davis eventually making his way there over the next few years isn’t so crazy.