Celtics

Celtics

For all the Anthony Davis trade chatter, the ball still is in the New Orleans Pelicans' court.

After all, Davis is under contract through the 2019-20 season, and the Pelicans are expected to offer him a supermax contract extension this offseason. The 25-year-old also has insisted publicly he's committed to New Orleans through the end of his contract, at the very least.

So, why all the buzz he'll skip town to join the Los Angeles Lakers or Boston Celtics?

It starts with the Pelicans.

In a column Thursday for NBC Sports, NBA Insider Tom Haberstroh made a case for why New Orleans has "failed" Davis since drafting him in 2012. Among Haberstroh's revelations: That the Pelicans aren't the top priority for their owners, the Benson family, which also runs the New Orleans Saints.

"The organization only cares about the Saints," an NBA executive told Haberstroh.

Per Haberstroh, that issue manifests itself on the Pelicans' medical staff, which is "filled with football résumés." The team's head physician, Dr. Misty Suri, actually served dual roles with the Pelicans and Saints until 2017, when the Saints fired him. He still has a job with the Pelicans, though, a squad whose players have missed the second-most games due to injury or illness in the entire NBA over the last five seasons.

Other execs don't think that's a coincidence.

"This pattern isn’t a total anomaly if you ask rival team executives, who have long chided the Pelicans’ medical team for being run by 'football guys' instead of those who have experience in the NBA," Haberstroh writes.

 

The Pelicans' laundry list of injuries combined with poor personnel decisions have resulted in New Orleans reaching the playoffs just twice in the last seven seasons. Davis recently admitted he's concerned more about legacy than money, so with the Pelicans enduring another rough season -- they're 14th in the Western Conference at 17-22 -- it's worth wondering whether Davis finally will request a trade.

"It’s becoming harder and harder to blame Davis if he decides to try his luck somewhere else," Haberstroh writes.

If that's the case, the Celtics certainly would come calling. Boston reportedly has been eyeing Davis for years and arguably has the best assets to land the superstar big man in a trade.

Then again, the Los Angeles Lakers may have a leg up on the C's, considering LeBron James shares Davis' agent. But the prospect of Davis even being available is good news for Celtics fans.

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.

 

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE