Celtics intend to pursue Davis trade with or without Kyrie

Pelicans star Anthony Davis requested a trade in January and is eligible for free agency in 2020.

The Boston Celtics don’t intend to give up on their pursuit of Anthony Davis even if Kyrie Irving signs elsewhere in free agency, according to Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated.

Davis requested a trade from the New Orleans Pelicans in January and the Celtics are expected to be one of his most-determined suitors this summer. It’s been reported recently that Davis does not intend to change his stance despite a meeting with new Pelicans head of basketball operations David Griffin.

Meanwhile, Irving will be an unrestricted free agent this offseason and has been linked to several opposing teams after a rocky season in Boston. He performed well individually, but the Celtics failed to live up their lofty expectations.

So Irving very well could sign a major deal elsewhere, with the Brooklyn Nets and New York Knicks being two of the potential destinations mentioned most.

According to Mannix, neither Irving’s possible departure nor Davis’ 2020 free agency will deter the Celtics.

“From what I understand, they’re not going to take their foot off the gas when it comes to pursuing Anthony Davis,” Mannix said on The Crossover podcast.

Mannix’s guest on the show, Rohan Nadkarni, agreed.

“If you want a superstar like him, go get him and prove to him that your culture is worth keeping a player like that around,” Nadkarni said.

Along with the Celtics, the Knicks, Nets, Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers are expected to pursue a trade for Davis, most likely around the time of the draft in a little less than two weeks.