Celtics

NBA rumors: Celtics ready to offer "explosive package" for Anthony Davis

NBA rumors: Celtics ready to offer "explosive package" for Anthony Davis

The Boston Celtics, as you've probably heard by now, cannot acquire Anthony Davis from the New Orleans Pelicans before Thursday's 3 p.m. ET NBA trade deadline, but that hasn't stopped these teams from discussing what offers might look like when the C's can enter the bidding for the superstar center in the offseason.

The C's, according to the Boston Globe's Adam Himmelsbach, have told the Pelicans they will make a compelling offer for Davis' services.

Sources said the Pelicans have sought guarantees from the Celtics surrounding specific packages, but the Celtics have been reluctant to make absolute promises, simply because so much can transpire in five months, such as injuries. Nevertheless, sources said, the Celtics have made it clear that they will be ready and willing to offer an explosive package when the time arrives, and that no specific player will be off limits in negotiations.

There are a couple challenges for Boston right now, and the most important one probably is convincing the Pelicans not to trade the superstar center before this week's deadline. 

The Los Angeles Lakers have made a strong push for Davis ahead of the deadline. L.A. reportedly has offered nearly its entire young core plus multiple draft picks for Davis, only to be rejected by a New Orleans front office looking for a historic offer

The Celtics need to persuade the Pelicans that their offer would beat the Lakers' best package, but it could be hard to do that without making any promises. Second-year forward Jayson Tatum is the best asset the C's can dangle for Davis and is a better prospect than any of the Lakers' talented young players. Tatum, according to a recent report from The Athletic, is "expected to be a major part of the talks when June rolls around." Among the problems with trading Tatum is it would be tough giving up on him without an assurance from Davis that he'd re-sign when his contract expires after the 2019-20 campaign. Tatum is not the type of player you typically trade for a rental. 

Davis' father made it clear last week he doesn't want his son to play in Boston, but all reports since that revelation indicate the Celtics still want to acquire the veteran big man.

Luckily for the Celtics, Thursday's deadline will provide a checkpoint in this process. If Davis is still a Pelicans player after 3 p.m. ET, Boston should feel better about its chances of making a trade in the offseason.

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Nicolas Batum on Celtics center Vincent Poirier: "It's a good pick-up for Boston for sure"

Nicolas Batum on Celtics center Vincent Poirier: "It's a good pick-up for Boston for sure"

Team USA didn't finish the FIBA World Cup as expected, but there were plenty of positives to take away from the tournament if you're a Celtics fan. 

Not only did Kemba Walker, Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart contribute to Team USA and certainly took some lessons from playing under Gregg Popovich, but Daniel Theis (Germany) and newly signed Vincent Poirier (France) got invaluable experience they can carry into the 2019-20 NBA season. 

Poirier signed with the Celtics during free agency on a two-year contract and should have plenty of opportunities to earn playing time in a Celtics' frontcourt that hopes to replace Al Horford and Aron Baynes. 

Poirier's French teammate Nicolas Batum, who played with Walker in Charlotte over the last four years, dealt out some praise of the rookie center after France beat Australia for the FIBA bronze medal. 

"This guy, I think, just started basketball 5 years ago, so he's had a special career," Batum told John Schumann. "His energy was great. We can't count on Rudy (Gobert) every game... He was huge. He wasn't scared by Bogut & Baynes... He was amazing tonight."

France knocked the U.S. out of the knockout round by besting them in the quarterfinals. Poirier didn't play in that game, but has played a big role for France behind All-Star big man Rudy Gobert. 

"It's clear that he's a center that can block shots and control the paint," Batum said. "He's a terrific roller, can really catch a lob, and obviously has a lot of energy. It's a good pick-up for Boston, for sure."

The Celtics responded to Horford's departure and trading Baynes to Phoneix by signing Poirier and Enes Kanter to join Theis and Robert Williams at the center spot. Boston will probably have to solve their hole at that position by committee, but if Poirier can play consistent defense, rebound and protect the paint as Batum describes, he could earn himself backup minutes behind Kanter. 

Either way, it should be an interesting training camp to say the least for this new-look Celtics team. 

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One lesson each Celtics player can take away from World Cup

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One lesson each Celtics player can take away from World Cup

Team Shamrock’s FIBA adventures ended with a whimper Saturday as — under the cloak of East Coast darkness — three of the four Celtics on Team USA logged DNPs (eight points for Jaylen Brown) while the Americans claimed seventh place with an 87-74 win over Poland. Combine that with the fact that Daniel Theis got limited reps with Germany’s early exit and Daniel Poirier hasn’t played big minutes while backing up Rudy Gobert for France and the World Cup experience wasn’t quite as robust as it could have been for the six Celtics players involved.

Still, there were positives to pluck and experiences gained by everyone involved, not the least of which is that a third of Boston’s roster will show up to camp on Oct. 1 in game-ready shape. Still, regardless of Team USA’s medal-less finish and the limited reps for Theis and Poirier, there’s at least one item or lesson that every player can bring with them into the new season.