Celtics will reportedly still pursue Anthony Davis even if Kyrie Irving leaves
The Boston Celtics are hoping to have a huge offseason that ends with them keeping Kyrie Irving and acquiring Anthony Davis, but the first task does not have to be completed in order for the team to remain committed to the second.
Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated said on his “The Crossover” podcast this week that the Celtics are planning to pursue a trade for Davis even if Irving decides to sign with another team. That would be risky considering Davis can opt out of his contract after next season, but Celtics GM Danny Ainge said recently that he is always going to take those types of risks.
Asking price could still be a factor, as Boston may not be willing to include young superstar Jayson Tatum in a deal for Davis if there’s a risk of the star big man being a one-year rental. With other teams like the Los Angeles Lakers and New York Knicks expected to be in on the bidding, Ainge may eventually decide including Tatum is a deal-breaker.
Irving appears to be leaning toward signing with one team in particular, and that team is not the Celtics. Unless Boston can acquire another superstar like Kevin Durant, Davis seems unlikely to want to play there. That in itself won’t prevent a deal from happening, but it could discourage the Celtics.