CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The news that the New Orleans Pelicans’ embattled GM Dell Demps was fired doesn’t come as a shock.
But the timing? Yeah, that’s a bit of a head-scratcher.
While it’s too soon to say how the process of trading Anthony Davis will play out now, getting rid of Demps isn’t necessarily a good thing for the Celtics. Remember, it was Demps who shunned multiple offers for Davis leading up to the trade deadline, including a massive package from the Los Angeles Lakers (Davis’ preferred landing spot).
What’s not clear is whether Demps simply didn’t like the package the Lakers and other teams put together, or whether Danny Ainge had convinced him and the Pelicans brass to hold off on doing a deal until this summer when Boston could enter the fray and potentially offer a deal that would include Jayson Tatum.
That may have very well been the final straw for ownership, which may have seen the Lakers’ offer -- pretty much every young prospect with a pulse who could play -- as being one they should have accepted.
According a tweet from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Pelicans ownership group is hell-bent on getting the most bang for their buck in moving Davis.
Former Atlanta Hawks and Cleveland Cavaliers GM Danny Ferry has been named interim GM in New Orleans, according to Wojnarowski.
It has been a well-established fact that when it comes to blending young, superstar talent with multiple draft picks -- a given for just about any team hitting the reset button the way the Pelicans now have no choice but to do -- the Celtics have the ability, more than any other franchise, to meet their asking price on all platforms of preference.
But the Lakers’ offer included young talent such as Kyle Kuzma, who is one of the better young scorers in the NBA, and Lonzo Ball, who has exceptional court vision and a jump shot that while not a thing of beauty, will likely get better as he grows and matures.
That's two, high-impact rotation players still on their rookie deals with loads of potential.
However, the Lakers' offer did not have the draft pick dynamic that a package from Boston could provide. The Lakers’ picks would be tied to their respective success (which would presumably be greater with Davis and thus make those picks weaker), while Boston has multiple picks from other teams whose future on many fronts aren’t as rosy. Those picks have the potential to be of greater significance in helping jump-start the Pelicans reboot in a what will soon be an Anthony Davis-free era.
Here’s where the waters get muddier for all involved.
Multiple league sources have confirmed that Tatum will be a key talking point in any serious conversations the Celtics have with the Pelicans on a deal for Davis. But with Demps being fired and Davis’ camp continuing to say that his focus remains to still be a Laker come 2020, teams -- including the Celtics -- are going to be even more reluctant in putting together a massive package for what would essentially be a one-year rental.
The thinking for Boston of course, is that Davis will arrive, enjoy the success he knew would never come his way in New Orleans, and sign on for the long haul along with Kyrie Irving who will be a free agent this summer.
And if the Lakers stick to their guns and don’t put forth an offer similar to the one they presented earlier, that clears a much smoother path for Davis to become a Celtic.
But with Demps out of the way, don’t be surprised if the Pelicans re-engage the Lakers and a comparable deal to the one presented to Demps, is offered up. And that will put Boston and Los Angeles the likely last two teams standing, with a potential trade for Davis that could dramatically affect the course of each franchise’s future for years to come.
The Celtics knew who they were dealing with when it came to negotiations with Demps, and that was something that clearly worked in their favor. Otherwise, Demps would have quickly taken the Lakers offer, moved Davis, and most likely be criticized and fired.
Now the Celtics are dealing with a greater unknown in getting a Davis deal done, something no Celtics fan should feel good about.
Boston has the kind of assets to put together a deal that meets most if not all of what the Pelicans presumably are looking for.
But will that be enough?
Stay tuned . . .
Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.