With Anthony Davis trade talks heating up, the Boston Celtics may have hit a stroke of luck going into the final stages of the Davis saga.
The next chapter of Anthony Davis trade talks was reported on Monday by Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. New Orléans is looking to get creative in whichever route they decide to choose, and are eager to get a deal done before the NBA Draft on June 20th. That means with or without the Boston Celtics.
This is the type of trade the Pelicans are looking for, according to Wojnarowski:
Griffin is pursuing a combination of assets that include an All-Star player, a young player with All-Star potential and two first-round picks, league sources said. Those wants are on a sliding scale. For example, the better the player, the softer the requests on the draft picks — and vice versa.
This type of package shouldn’t come as a surprise to most. New Orléans is one of the smallest markets in the NBA and will need as many competitive advantages as possible.
Acquiring an established all-star, as well as a future running mate to pair with Zion Williamson, will give New Orléans a good shot at a playoff appearance in a stacked Western Conference.
The part of this that is intriguing to Celtics fans is that last part of the quote.
“The better the player, the softer the requests on the draft picks — and vice versa.”
It’s a no brainer that Jayson Tatum would be involved in a trade to acquire Davis, that much is clear. Many Celtics fans don’t like the idea of also parting with Jaylen Brown or Marcus Smart.
In just about every scenario, one of those two players will be packaged along with Tatum to match salaries. However, getting a third team involved could soften the blow for the Celtics.
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Boston has four first round picks they could offer in some variance in a Davis trade, including a Memphis Grizzlies pick that could return tremendous value.
The Grizzlies pick is top 6 protected in the 2020 NBA Draft, or unprotected in 2021. Meaning that if the pick is in the top 6 in next years draft, it will become unprotected in 2021.
With the Memphis Grizzlies scheduled for a long rebuild, that pick is one of the more valuable assets on the trade market.
The possession of all these picks, coupled with the involvement of a third team, could offset the need to include a Brown or Smart in addition to Tatum. The Celtics could supply the Pelicans with the young star (Tatum) and the two draft picks, while another team provides the established star.
A team that has an all-star and are looking to start their own rebuild would love to have that Grizzlies pick in their possession.How poetic would it be if the Grizzlies traded back for their own pick by sending Mike Conley to New Orléans in a multi-team deal?
It may be difficult for Boston to match salaries without including more players in the deal, but there are creative ways Danny Ainge could pull it off.
While it seems like the Celtics should be in the driver’s seat for Davis, all of this probably hinges on the decision Kyrie Irving makes in free agency.
Without a strong commitment from Irving, Ainge will hesitate to execute the trade for Davis. Leaving Celtics fans to always wonder what could have been.