As first reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Anthony Davis has officially been traded to the Los Angeles Lakers. While many Boston Celtics fans are disappointed on missing out on a big star, here are some reasons why it was a good thing for the team not signing Davis.
1. His agent repeatedly said he would not re-sign
“They can trade for him, but it’ll be for one year,” Davis’ agent Rich Paul said in an interview with Sports Illustrated. “I mean: If the Boston Celtics traded for Anthony Davis, we would go there and we would abide by our contractual [obligations] and we would go into free agency in 2020. I’ve stated that to them. But in the event that he decides to walk away and you give away assets? Don’t blame Rich Paul.”
Although it didn’t come straight from Davis’ mouth, his agent is a pretty good source. With Rich Paul also being a lifetime friend and agent of LeBron James, it seemed pretty clear the direction Davis was being steered in. It didn’t make much sense at all for the Celtics to trade for him as a one year rental with the assets they would give up.
The one factor that may gave Celtics fans hope regardless of what Davis or Paul said is the fact Kevin Garnett said the same thing in 2007, and we all know how that turned out. The difference between the two is Garnett was always a competitor and he didn’t want a trade at all. The reasons for Garnett not wanting to be in Boston was because he wanted to stay in Minnesota.
In a Marc Stein article written before the Garnett trade shown here, it explains Garnett wanted to win with Minnesota, but if he had to get traded he wanted it to be to a contender. There was nothing about his brand, or wanting to play for a bigger market, Garnett simply wanted to win. The same thing was not guaranteed with Anthony Davis.
2. Questions about his motives and competitiveness
Once again going back to Garnett. There was always one thing on Garnett’s mind and that was winning. As for Davis, it seems as though as long as he is in a big market, he is happy. His reported list of teams included the Lakers and Knicks, both of which haven’t made the playoffs since 2013.
Was Boston really going to trade for another diva who cares more about market than winning? We’re in the middle of seeing how that plays out with Kyrie Irving and for Boston it doesn’t look good. Even if Davis did re-sign in Boston, would he prioritize winning? Or would he once again demand a trade when times start getting tough. Boston could not afford to take the risk
3. Celtics assets were too valuable to give up if Davis walked
Over the last couple of years it seemed no one in the league had more valuable assets than the Boston Celtics. With a combination of Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, a plethora of draft picks and even role players such as Marcus Smart, there wasn’t many teams that could produce a better offer for a superstar than Boston.
Most of those assets currently still stand, with the exception of the final Brooklyn pick given for Irving. If Davis got traded it would have likely cost the C’s Tatum, Smart and draft picks. If Davis walked, the Celtics would be giving up their greatest assets for one year of a superstar.
Even focusing on next year if the Celtics did trade for Davis, the roster would have been completely depleted around him. If Irving stayed, then there would have been an argument. However, with Irving most likely gone, and no cap room to acquire free agents, it would have not made sense to acquire Davis.