The Celtics have been rumored to have interest in the Pelicans big man for a while now, which isn’t entirely surprising considering…well, it’s Anthony Davis. But according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Boston’s interest has gone back years, and it has remained serious enough to use the term “hawking.”
While discussing Davis’ future on the Woj & Lowe Show this week, Wojnarowski offered some insight into a few of the teams that might be in strong pursuit of the 25-year-old as his current deal heads into the stretch run.
“Boston has been hawking Anthony Davis for years,” said Wojnarowski. “They always hoped that it would be—whether it’s the end of this season or the beginning of next before the trade deadline—that they would gather up all those assets, all those picks Danny Ainge has, young players, and they’d be the team to be able to get Anthony Davis.
“But now you have L.A., and if they get shut out in free agency, they’re going to have to take all their young players to try to use them to get Anthony Davis.”
Davis’ current deal doesn’t run out until the end of next season, New Orleans will have another opportunity to impress Davis on Wednesday night when they face off against the Milwaukee Bucks (8 p.m. ET — Watch on FuboTV with the NBA League Pass Extension), but the Pelicans could begin to start exploring a trade as early as this season or this summer if they feel that they won’t have a legitimate shot at retaining their franchise player on a supermax deal ($235 million over five years).
New Orleans is attempting to build around Davis in an effort to convince him to stick around but, considering their inability to put together a championship-caliber roster around the All-Star big man in years past, it wouldn’t be shocking if he planned to head for greener pastures in 2020.
If the Pelicans do indeed ultimately end up opening up the bidding for Davis, there will be plenty of teams coming out of the woodwork to try their best to land the superstar. But the Celtics and Lakers have been among the most discussed potential suitors; Boston because of their stockpiled valuable assets and the potential of Davis being a perfect final piece to hit “super team” status, and Los Angeles because it’s L.A. and the Lakers have LeBron James.
Zach Lowe even compared Davis’ current situation to the end of Kevin Garnett’s (initial) tenure in Minnesota over a decade ago, saying that the two scenarios are pretty comparable. And the two teams were at the front of the Garnett sweepstakes back then? The Celtics and Lakers, of course.
Ultimately, that one played out in Boston’s favor and the rest was history. And while Boston may seem like a favorite to some this time around, there’s no rush to deal Davis right now and a lot can change in the coming days and months. Things tend to get pretty unpredictable in the NBA these days, especially in situations like this one, so perhaps the hunters will become the hunted.