The 2019 NBA trade deadline has potential to be the most chaotic deadline in the league’s history.
Fresh off a blockbuster trade that saw the New York Knicks deal Kristaps Porzingis to the Dallas Mavericks in exchange for a ton of salary cap relief, the attention now shifts back to what happens next with New Orleans Pelicans superstar Anthony Davis.
The Los Angeles Lakers are pushing hard to acquire Davis, reportedly presenting a handful of trade scenarios to Pelicans general manager Dell Demps. But one major obstacle standing in the way of the Lakers’ pursuit of Davis is the Boston Celtics reportedly telling the Pelicans to wait until the summer, when they can get in on the Davis sweepstakes.
The Celtics have dreams of pairing Davis with Kyrie Irving, but with growing uncertainty around the latter’s future in Boston, that may never come to fruition.
According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, the Celtics remain a rental option for Davis.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) February 1, 2019
If the Lakers are unable to make a deal before Thursday’s deadline, it is possible the Celtics roll the dice and make a trade for Davis with no assurance that he will re-sign in the summer of 2020 when he will be an unrestricted free agent.
But with the growing vibe that Irving may leave Boston in July for a team like the Knicks or the Lakers, there is potential for a disastrous ending for the Celtics taking that risk. Also, with the latest info from a report by ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, don’t rule out Boston offering Irving in a deal to the Pelicans for Davis.
It appears unlikely, but a provision in the NBA’s collective bargaining agreement prevents the Celtics from trading for a second player with a designated player contract. Irving and Davis both have this type of contract, so the only way they can trade for Davis before the deadline is to ship out Irving.
The next six days leading up to the deadline will generate a ton of buzz. The Lakers will continue to push hard in their efforts to bring Davis to Los Angeles. With the Knicks off the table and the Celtics likely waiting until the summer, the Lakers might be in a good spot. But it takes two to tango. Are the Pelicans ready to dance?
You can follow this author on Twitter at @garykester.