There are enough moving parts in the Anthony Davis trade saga to make your head spin. But there's a chance things start falling into place within the next two weeks.
During Thursday's episode of NBC Sports Boston's "Celtics Talk" Podcast, Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders suggested the Pelicans would like to trade Davis before the 2019 NBA Draft on June 20 if executive president of basketball operations David Griffin can't convince him to stay in New Orleans.
"I've been told they want to get it done before the draft," Kyler said. "If Anthony Davis isn't in the boat, they're ready to move on. Life after AD, build around Jrue Holiday and Zion Williamson, start the next part."
The Pelicans own the No. 1 pick and are an essential lock to take Williamson. By dealing Davis before the draft, they can wash their hands of a drama-filled saga and acquire additional assets (more draft picks and/or young players) to complement Williamson.
What does this timeline mean for the Celtics, who according to NBA insider Chris Mannix still plan to aggressively pursue a trade for Davis despite growing concern that Kyrie Irving will bolt Boston in free agency?
"I think that puts the Celtics at somewhat of a disadvantage, because they're going to have to make a deal before they have a lot of answers," Kyler said.
Since Irving likely won't declare his free agency intentions until after the NBA Draft (free agency begins June 30), the C's would have to go all-in on a Davis trade without a guarantee Irving will stay to play with him.
Then again, the expedited timeline could be a silver lining if you believe the reports that Irving is more likely to stay in Boston if he knows he can play with Davis, a good friend.
Here's another silver lining: The C's have assets the Pelicans covet in a Davis trade. According to Fletcher Mackel of NBC affiliate WDSU in New Orleans, young forward Jayson Tatum tops New Orleans' wish list.
NBA source (who I trust a lot) told me tonight he thinks Boston is landing spot for Anthony Davis.— Fletcher Mackel (@FletcherWDSU) June 7, 2019
Says Tatum is player NOLA covets most.
Tatum, Smart (who @PelicansNBA also really like), filler (Williams, Ojeyele or Yabusele) & at least pick #14 this year.
I. Love. It! pic.twitter.com/7Rd1taJYJJ
Whether the Celtics would give up Tatum and other assets without even knowing if Irving will stick around to play with Davis is a different story. But it appears the dominoes are going to start falling soon -- possibly in under two weeks' time.
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