Celtics

NBA Rumors: Is Lakers-Pelicans trade for Anthony Davis off the table?

NBA Rumors: Is Lakers-Pelicans trade for Anthony Davis off the table?

The Los Angeles Lakers tried and (very publicly) failed to wrest Anthony Davis from the New Orleans Pelicans prior to the NBA trade deadline.

Might they have to wait until 2020 free agency for their next shot at the All-Star big man?

The Undefeated's Mark J. Spears suggested as much Wednesday afternoon on ESPN's "The Jump."

"I have been told that there’s no way Anthony Davis is coming here (to Los Angeles) through the Pelicans," Spears said.

Co-host Michael Wilbon then chimed in with his confirmation: "They're just not going to do it. I've heard the same thing."

The Pelicans and Lakers seemingly left trade deadline talks on acrimonious terms, with New Orleans reportedly upset L.A.'s multiple trade offers for Davis became so public and the Lakers skeptical the Pelicans gave them a fair shake in negotiations. The whole mess even led New Orleans to fire general manager Dell Demps and its head coach, Alvin Gentry, to publicly call the situation a "dumpster fire."

So, yeah. You can see why the two sides may not be willing to deal.

That would appear to open the door for the Boston Celtics, who are in fact on Davis' "list" and boast a wealth of assets to offer the Pelicans in trade talks this summer.

The caveat, of course, is that Davis can opt out of his contract after the 2019-20 season and become a free agent. Reports suggest he prefers signing in Los Angeles when that time comes -- both Spears and Wilbon didn't rule this out, simply noting Davis wouldn't go to L.A. through New Orleans -- so the Celtics' risk of dumping all their assets for one year of Davis still is very real.

Interestingly enough, Spears and Wilbon also mentioned the Clippers could be in play for Davis, with Spears noting a source told him there's "another team in Los Angeles that you've got to worry about."

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A. Sherrod Blakely's NBA Mock Draft 1.0

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NBC Sports Boston illustration

A. Sherrod Blakely's NBA Mock Draft 1.0

There are still more than two months until the NBA Draft, and there's no suspense when it comes to the top pick.

Duke phenom Zion Williamson is all but guaranteed to hear his name called first by Adam Silver on draft night; the only suspense is which team wins the draft lottery and earns the right to select him.

The lottery is still almost a month away, but the tiebreakers have already taken place, which means it's a perfect time to start looking forward and project how the cards could fall on draft night.

From one-and-done stars to guys who stuck around at college for a few years to international players hoping to make a name for themselves stateside, there are a lot of NBA prospects about to enter the fray.

With that in mind, A. Sherrod Blakely takes a look ahead to draft night.

Click here for his NBA Mock Draft 1.0.>>>>

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NBA Rumors: Cavs would 'gladly' trade for Gordon Hayward if available

NBA Rumors: Cavs would 'gladly' trade for Gordon Hayward if available

The Boston Celtics are focused on the 2019 playoffs. But the NBA's lottery teams already are looking ahead to this summer, and it appears the Cleveland Cavaliers are keeping tabs on one of Boston's prized assets.

Cavs general manager Koby Altman confirmed last Friday his team already has fielded calls for veteran guard J.R. Smith, whose unique contract -- only $3.8 million guaranteed of the $15.7 million he's technically owed next season -- could provide another club with valuable cap flexibility.

In an article published Wednesday, Cleveland.com's Chris Fedor listed the Celtics as one of the Cavs' 10 potential trade partners in a Smith deal, citing Cleveland's interest in former All-Star Gordon Hayward.

The Cavs would gladly take the polarizing Hayward, who was an All-Star in Utah before his horrific leg injury. He would be the main prize, the exception to Cleveland demanding a draft pick or ascending player on a rookie deal. Hayward is healthy now and will have a full off-season to try to regain his old form, possibly giving the Cavs another piece to accelerate their timeline. Put Hayward, 29, alongside Kevin Love, Collin Sexton and the duo added in Round One and suddenly Cleveland has the look of a playoff team.

Fedor notes the only way Boston would consider dealing Hayward is if things went awry this summer. If Kyrie Irving bolts in free agency and the C's lose out on Anthony Davis, Danny Ainge could look to unload the maximum contracts of Hayward and Al Horford to do a mini-rebuild around Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown.

If Irving stays, though, don't expect Hayward to go anywhere. Ainge acquired the 29-year-old to be a key contributor on a title-contending Boston team, and Hayward has shown encouraging signs he can still be that player after his October 2018 leg injury (suffered in Cleveland, ironically).

The Celtics have bigger fish to fry as they aim to dispatch the Indiana Pacers in the first round. But here's another reminder that if Boston bows out early, things could get very, very interesting this offseason.

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