Boston Celtics: Pros and Cons of an Anthony Davis trade

Hardwood Houdini dives into whether or not the Boston Celtics should trade for Los Angeles Lakers superstar Anthony Davis (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Hardwood Houdini dives into whether or not the Boston Celtics should trade for Los Angeles Lakers superstar Anthony Davis (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /

Regarding a Boston Celtics trade for Anthony Davis, I don‘t think that‘s likely to happen, but you never know. A lot depends on if they can find a third team that’s willing to participate. If they do? Then we’re talking…

The real question fans should be asking, though, is whether or not the Boston Celtics should trade for AD

Lets dive into why Cs should or shouldn‘t trade for Anthony Davis. Lets start with the pros…

The Boston Celtics have been a contender for the last six years, making four conference finals in that span. Last year they made the finals and were nearly up three games to one, but they couldn‘t get over the hump.

They couldn‘t go all the way, partly, because they didn‘t have a dominant paint presence. Look at how they‘ve been eliminated over the past several seasons…

In 2018, they lost to the Cleveland Cavaliers in seven games, by shooting 7-39 from the 3-point line. In 2020, they lost to the Miami Heat in six games, by shooting 15-46 from 3-point line. Last year, in deciding Game 6 against the Golden State Warriors they made 39% from the 3-point line. They also went to the free throw line 19, 15 and 12 times respectively in those clinching games for the Dubs. In those games, they were to reliant on a 3-point shot and couldn’t get to the line enough.

Anthony Davis could solve that problem. So, lets look at why they should go for AD:

Pro: Inside presence

AD is extremely skilled around the rim. You can give him the ball in the midrange and he can create by posting up or driving to the rim. He’s also good in pick-and-roll situations, where he can pop out or dive all the way to the rim.

The Boston Celtics don’t have that now in their frontcourt. Davis would open the floor even more by simply rolling to the basket by attracting defenders. It would make life so much easier for the rest of the Cs.

Pro: Defense

AD would elevate the Boston Celtics defense to another level. Sure, he’s not the same athlete as he once was, but he’s still good enough to average 1.9 blocks and 1.4 steals per game this season on a team that’s going nowhere.

You can switch with him, he can protect the rim, so guards could pressure the ball more. Davis wasn’t particularly good on that end this season, but the Lakers are far from a good defensive team anyway, so it’s hard to measure him.

And why they shouldn’t trade for AD:

Con: Chemistry

Isiah Thomas once said that, “The secret about basketball is that it’s not about basketball”. Guys should like and respect each other. The Boston Celtics have been playing with this core for five years. Since Kyrie Irving left, there hasn’t a lot of drama surrounding Cs outside of their bubble season and the whole Ime Udoka drama.

It looks like they’re enjoying by playing with each other. It’s not easy to reach good chemistry and once you achieve that, you want to keep it, because in the long season it is crucial. By trading some core pieces, you just don’t know how the rest of team will react to that. Why risk it?

Con: Playing style

The Boston like to play five out a lot. Sometimes, in isolation situations, their bigs, whether it is Al Horford or Grant Williams, spot up in the corners. With AD, you won’t be able to that as much, because he’s not much a 3-point shooter.

Davis can shoot, but he’s not consistent. He’s a career 30.9% 3-point shooter. That means you could gamble with him. He would need his touches, which would take away the ball from Jayson Tatum or Jaylen Brown, and how they would deal with that, well, I’m just not sure…

Con: Durability

Since moving to Los Angeles, Anthony Davis has played 62 (pandemic season), 36, 40 and 10 games this season. Even though he’s a good player, he can’t stay on the floor. The old saying goes, “The best ability is availability” and AD can’t provide that.

Even dating back to his New Orleans days, the most he’s played was 75 games in 2017-18 season. To get AD, the Celtics would need to deplete their roster, and knowing his injury history, that could cost Cs a lot.


I don’t know what would be in an Anthony Davis trade. I’m assuming that anybody’s on the table except Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. If I could get assurances that AD is completely healthy and ready to go and has no nagging problems, I would consider putting Brown on the table.

I think it would make the Celtics a better team and raise their ceiling. But knowing AD’s injury history and the way the Cs are playing, I don’t think that Boston needs to shuffle things.

Just not yet.