NBA Trade Deadline Update: Celtics Could Land Anthony Davis As The Lakers-Pelicans Negotiations Stalled

NBA: New Orleans Pelicans at Chicago Bulls
Feb 6, 2019; Chicago, IL, USA; New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis (23) leaves the court after the game against the Chicago Bulls at United Center. (Photo: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports)

The speculations about Anthony Davis teaming up with LeBron James started and gained traction on that fateful night when the two superstars had dinner together in Los Angeles. It all came to a screeching stop, just hours before the deadline, as the negotiations between the Lakers and the Pelicans seemed to have died as quickly as it started. Now, the Celtics have become one of the favorites to land the disgruntled All-Star.

According to Adam Himmelsbach of the Boston Globe, the Boston Celtics has informed the Pelicans that they are "ready and willing to offer an explosive package" in exchange for Anthony Davis. While the Celtics cannot acquire Anthony Davis before the trade deadline due to NBA league rule technicalities, Boston is still in line to have the first shot at Davis during the offseason.

And unlike the Lakers-Pelicans somewhat strange negotiations, the Celtics seemingly has the ears of the Pelicans' front office. Sources close to the situation revealed that the Pelicans "sought guarantees" from the Celtics involving specific packages for Antony Davis.

The Celtics did not commit to a specific package presumably because there is still a lot of time between the trade deadline and the offseason and anything can still happen. Boston, nevertheless, assured New Orleans that practically everyone in the Celtics roster can be included in a trade deal for Davis.

So what's the difference between the Lakers' and the Celtics' offer? Or, put simply, is there a more sinister reason why the Pelicans are ignoring the Lakers? NBA fans may not find out. But the Lakers did show that they are committed to acquiring Davis from the Pelicans.

The Lakers have sent numerous trade packages that also involved multiple players. And with each trade package, the New Orleans Pelicans' front office just seemed to be wanting more and more. Eventually, the Lakers were forced to adopt a wait-and-see policy and waited for the Pelicans response which probably will not come.

There are other hurdles that the Celtics need to overcome in order to acquire a top-5 NBA talent like Davis. First of all, Boston isn't one of Davis' preferred destinations. Davis' representatives claim that if the Davis is traded, he will only sign a long-term deal with the New York Knicks, the Milwaukee Bucks, the Los Angeles Lakers, or the Los Angeles Clippers.

Say that the Boston Celtics found a way to convince Davis to sign a long-term deal, there is still Anthony Davis' father. In a text sent to Ramona Shelburne of ESPN, Davis Sr. empathically revealed the reason why he doesn't want his son to play for the Celtics.

Say that the Celtics overcame those two hurdles and got Davis to sign a long-term deal in Boston, there's a chance Kyrie Irving might not be there anymore. Remember, Boston is reportedly willing to go all in to acquire Davis. So there is a fair chance that the Celtics would have a skeleton crew by the time he got there.

Also, if the Lakers' offer of young and budding stars couldn't sway the Pelicans' front office to part ways with Davis, it is difficult to imagine that the Celtics' "explosive offer" could be any better. Recent reports suggest that any Boston trade package for Davis would likely include Jayson Tatum, arguably the Celtics' best asset at this point.

That said, if the Pelicans are really willing to listen to the Celtics, and if New Orleans really has Boston on its sight for an offseason deal, then there's nothing the Lakers, or any team (save for Boston) for that matter can do. Looking at these points, one might point out that the Pelicans may have just paid a puppet master for a dance-and-pony show to disrupt the Lakers or discourage potential suitors for Anthony Davis.

And while it is highly unlikely that this is the true plan of the Pelicans, the fact that the Lakers might not be able to snag Davis means that AD is one step closer to becoming a Boston Celtics. Despite the aforementioned hurdles that the Celtics have to overcome, they may actually have the biggest chance to get Anthony Davis.

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