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The Boston Celtics believe Kyrie Irving will stay if they are able to trade for New Orleans Pelicans star Anthony Davis, according to Frank Isola of The Athletic.
Davis requested a trade in January and it’s no secret the Celtics intend to make a run at him this summer. The Pelicans won the draft lottery and the right to select Duke star Zion Williamson — but multiple reports suggest that won’t cause Davis to back off his trade request.
While the Celtics supposedly aren’t on Davis’ list of preferred destinations, that rarely matters to president and general manager Danny Ainge. The Celtics often bet on themselves in these scenarios, and aren’t likely to be deterred by the fact Davis will become an unrestricted free agent at the end of next season.
Meanwhile, Irving will be one this July, freeing him to sign with any team. He has been linked to the New York Knicks, Brooklyn Nets, Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers.
This despite the fact he professed in October his intention to re-sign with the Celtics. He made no such proclamations after Boston was bounced by the Milwaukee Bucks in the Eastern Conference semifinals.
The Celtics have three first-round picks (Nos. 14, 20 and 22) and those, along with Jayson Tatum, may be enough to pry Davis away and allow the Pelicans to rebuild around Williamson, a bevy of draft picks, and a nice young wing player.
But as is always the case when it comes to free agency and trade requests, there remains lots of uncertainty where Irving and Davis will end up next.