Ever since the Boston Celtics traded away Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Jason Terry to the Brooklyn Nets in the lucrative deal back in 2013, they have been in a some-what rebuilding mode. After the trade, they won only 25 games in the following season.
They’ve been improving ever since, including most recently achieving the 1 seed and making the Eastern Conference Finals. Along the way, they’ve been collecting draft picks at an astounding rate. In the Pierce/Garnett trade, they received the Nets’ first-round picks in 2014, 2016, 2018 and the right to swap first-round picks in 2017. Most recently, the Celtics agreed to trade the #1 overall pick in this year’s draft to the Philadelphia 76ers for the #3 pick and either the 2018 Los Angeles Lakers first-round pick or the Sacramento Kings first-round pick in 2019. The Celtics now have a total of seven first round draft picks in the next three years alone.
Earlier today, it was reported by multiple sources including that the Celtics were accumulating all these draft picks to target Anthony Davis from the New Orleans Pelicans.
Such a trade would explain the reasoning behind the Celtics ineptitude to use the first pick overall, that was handed to them by the Nets and draft Markelle Fultz, who is one of the most highly rated rookies coming into the draft in the past five years.
This trade though is two-sided, and it looks like the Pelicans may be reluctant to trade the 23-year-old star out of Kentucky. Not only is he one of the most valuable players in the league given his age, but he is already a star, averaging 28 points, 11.8 rebounds, and a little over 2 blocks per game in just his 5th year in the league.
The Pelicans also seem to be in a win-now mode. Just a few months ago, the Pelicans acquired DeMarcus Cousins, the star big man from the Sacramento Kings, trading away a draft pick and their young rookie, Buddy Hield. This gave the Pelicans arguably the best front-court in the NBA.
Just recently, the Pelicans showed their interest in staying in win-now mode by being “very interested” in retaining Jrue Holiday or signing Derrick Rose.
The Celtics will try to acquire the star Davis in a trade involving a lot of their draft picks. It will certainly be a daunting task to convince the Pelicans to trade their young star, given their recent interest in the rebuild mode. Don’t be surprised if the Celtics get it done. Danny Ainge (Celtics GM) has achieved difficult tasks before. If they do trade for Davis, he and the rest of the Celtics should be on LeBron James’ radar in the upcoming years.