NBA Rumors: Latest on Celtics' Anthony Davis Trade Pursuit, RJ Barrett, More

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistMay 17, 2019

BOSTON, MA - DECEMBER 10: Robert Williams #44 of the Boston Celtics defends Anthony Davis #23 of the New Orleans Pelicans during the second half of the game at TD Garden on December 10, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

The Boston Celtics have long been mentioned as a potential landing spot for New Orleans Pelicans center Anthony Davis, and now that their season is over, they can officially work their way into trade negotiations. 

Boston was not allowed to be in the mix for Davis at the trade deadline because it could not have two players with designated player extensions on its roster under NBA rules. 

If Kyrie Irving opts out of his contract, or signs a new deal with the team this offseason, the Celtics can jump into discussions for Davis without any restrictions. 

The Celtics could put together an enticing package for the Pelicans, who are expected to add Zion Williamson with the No. 1 pick in the 2019 NBA draft. 

Williamson and Ja Morant are expected to be the first two picks in the draft, which is a scenario that would reportedly please Williamson's Duke teammate RJ Barrett, who is likely to be selected third. 


Pelicans Will Reportedly Reach Out To Celtics

According to Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald, the Pelicans will reach out to the Celtics as the most obvious trade partner in a deal for Davis. 

Tony Gutierrez/Associated Press

However, a potential deal between the Celtics and Pelicans comes with plenty of complexities. 

The most basic of the issues would be which personnel and draft picks the Celtics are willing to ship to New Orleans in order to obtain Davis. 

Boston has plenty of young stars on its roster, and it is likely that one or more of Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum and Marcus Smart have to be dealt to secure the deal. 

But even if the Pelicans agree to a trade, there is no guarantee the Celtics can lock down Davis to a long-term deal, especially if Irving opts out of his contract and leaves for another team. 

Without Irving and a few of its young stars, Boston suddenly becomes a less intriguing contender to play for.

The Celtics might have a chance to reload its roster around Davis and Gordon Hayward if they do not ship all of their three 2019 first-round draft picks to New Orleans. 

Boston's front office needs to be cautious with its approach to a potential Davis deal because a trade involving a handful of assets and Irving's departure in free agency could deplete its depth. 


Barrett Prefers To Be Drafted By Knicks or Lakers

Barrett could find himself in a perfect position during the NBA draft on June 20. 

Sean Rayford/Associated Press

With Williamson and Morant expected to go first and second to New Orleans and Memphis, respectively, Barrett is likely to land with either the New York Knicks or Los Angeles Lakers. 

According to Mark Berman of the New York Post, Barrett prefers if he drops to either the No. 3 or No. 4 pick to play for one of the high-profile franchises. 

Barrett is one of the few players in the draft class who could handle playing under the scrutiny that a major market presents. 

He displayed his ability to deal with the pressure during his freshman season at Duke in which every game felt like a spectacle with or without Williamson on the floor. 

Barrett would also be a great fit for either team in their attempts to reinforce their respective rosters. 

The Canadian was once seen as the top prospect in the draft class before Williamson took the basketball world by storm, and he should be able to make an immediate impact as a high-volume scorer from the wing. 

If the Knicks do not trade the No. 3 pick, they should go all-in on Barrett to partner with the young core of Dennis Smith Jr. and Kevin Knox.

The collection of young prospects could be a selling point used by the Knicks to lure free agents, like Kevin Durant or Irving, in their attempt to further improve the roster. 


Rozier on Chicago's Radar

Chicago's hunt for a new point guard hit a snag when it dropped down the lottery to the No. 7 pick. 

Winslow Townson/Associated Press

The Bulls will likely miss out Morant, and depending on how high Darius Garland is selected, they could be left with the third-best point guard in the draft class. 

With no guarantees of an upgrade coming through the draft, the Bulls are keeping an eye on Celtics guard Terry Rozier, per The Athletic's Darnell Mayberry

According to Mayberry, there is belief inside Chicago's facility that Rozier is exactly who the Bulls need at the position. 

Rozier is a restricted free agent, per Spotrac, which means the Bulls could lure him away from Boston with the right offer. 

But Rozier's decision could be dependent on what occurs in Boston, and if there is more playing time available, he could see that as an ideal situation. 

Regardless of what happens with Rozier, the Bulls have put themselves in the market for a floor general who can be an upgrade to Kris Dunn.

Other options could include Patrick Beverley, or a trade with Memphis for Mike Conley, but neither have been seriously linked with the Bulls early in the offseason. 


Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.


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