The 2019 NBA Finals could end Monday night in Toronto, but the drama involving the Anthony Davis trade sweepstakes already is revving up as the NBA Draft approaches.
Last week, New Orleans reportedly began listening to trade calls for their superstar center, and on Monday, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported the Pelicans' executive vice president of basketball David Griffin is giving teams "the framework" of what trade packages for Davis could look like.
What specifically are the Pelicans looking to acquire for Davis? Well, as you can imagine, the asking price is sky high. Here is what Wojnarowski reports:
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 asks on the draft picks -- and vice versa.
Wojnarowski also notes that it might take more than two teams to facilitate a trade for Davis, which obviously makes the task a bit more difficult.
The Boston Celtics have been involved in many Davis trade rumors over the years, and they certainly have the type of assets the Pelicans are looking for. Using the parameters reported above, a package of Jayson Tatum or Jaylen Brown (young player with All-Star potential), Al Horford or Gordon Hayward (former All-Star) and two first-round picks (Boston has three first-rounders in 2019, plus a conditional Memphis Grizzlies first-round selection) could work.
But if Kyrie Irving leaves this summer in free agency, should the Celtics gamble prime assets to acquire Davis knowing he could leave next July as an unrestricted free agent? We know Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge isn't afraid to make bold trades, but that would be the biggest bet of his tenure.
The worst-case scenario for the Celtics is being left without much to show from the famous Brooklyn Nets trade in 2013, and that likely would propel Boston into another rebuild. This scenario could play out if Irving leaves this summer, the Celtics still trade for Davis and give up Tatum and/or Brown to do so, and then the star center leaves in free agency in 2020.
All of this Davis trade drama is just one part of what should be the most exciting summer in NBA history from a player movement perspective.
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