Anthony Davis demands trade, but timing is horrible for Celtics, unless they trade Irving

John Tomase
January 28, 2019 - 10:07 am
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Anthony Davis wants out, and his timing couldn't be worse for the Celtics.

According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, Davis has informed the Pelicans that he does not plan to sign an extension and wants to be traded to a contender. The timing of the announcement suggests he'd that to happen by the NBA's Feb. 7 trade deadline.

Though the Celtics theoretically have the most to offer, they can't trade for Davis now unless they include Kyrie Irving in the package, since the NBA prohibits teams from acquiring two players on Rose Rule contracts.

"Anthony wants to be traded to a team that allows him a chance to win consistently and compete for a championship," agent Rich Paul told ESPN. "Anthony wanted to be honest and clear with his intentions and that's the reason for informing them of this decision now. That's in the best interests of both Anthony's and the organization's future."

The 25-year-old is a top-five talent playing for a bottom-10 team. The Pelicans have lost three straight to fall to 22-28 through no fault of Davis's. He's averaging 29.3 points, 13.3 rebounds, and 2.6 blocks per game as the most dominating big man in the NBA.

A threat to land him at the moment might be the Los Angeles Lakers, if for no other reason than sheer force of will. Paul also represents Los Angeles star LeBron James, and a James-Davis pairing would make L.A. an immediate threat in the West.

One problem: the Lakers aren't exactly swimming in the combination of young talent and draft picks that could sway the Pelicans to trade their star within the conference.

A better bet for New Orleans would be to play out the season and then involve the Celtics, who boast trade chips like Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart, and present and future potential lottery picks from the Kings and Grizzlies.

The Celtics can also extend Irving, which would take him off his Rose Rule contract and eliminate that impediment to a deal. The Rose Rule allows exceptional players on rookie contracts -- those with MVP awards, All-NBA selections, etc. . . . -- to sign larger extensions, which both Irving and Davis did.

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