Rumors continue to swirl about Kyrie Irving possibly leaving the Boston Celtics next summer. My response to that: get Anthony Davis.
Rumors of Kyrie Irving possibly leaving the Boston Celtics continue to surface in the media, and the 2018-2019 season hasn’t even tipped off yet. The superstar guard is linked to multiple theoretical trades and signings, many of them involving a scenario where Irving and Jimmy Butler feature on the same squad.
If these assumptions become an actual reality, then Boston needs to shift their mindset to win-now mode (as rough as that sounds). The best way to do that in my opinion is trading for Anthony Davis.
Back in December of 2017, Clutch Points reported that Davis lists the San Antonio Spurs, Oklahoma City Thunder, Golden State Warriors, Cleveland Cavaliers, and Boston Celtics as organizations he would want to play with. Davis points out that these are all teams with an established plan (kind of funny to think about now, since LeBron has left Cleveland).
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Davis, who is entering his third year of his five year contract with the New Orleans Pelicans, sticks by his statements, but also understands that his prime won’t last forever.
The superstar is 25 years old, and by the time his deal is up (in 2021), he’ll be 28, and officially in the best portion of his career. Regardless, CelticsWire disclosed information involving Davis’s mindset back in February of 2018, where the forward/center expressed his desire to stay with New Orleans until his contract is up in 2021.
Not to mention, Davis said this even after DeMarcus Cousins went down with a season-ending achilles injury, and then lead the organization to a surprising sweep against the Portland Trail Blazers in the first round of the 2018 playoffs, before losing to Golden State (Portland was the 3-seed too!).
Theoretically, the Pelicans wanted Cousins to re-sign after the 2018 season, but instead, the star center agreed to a one-year deal worth only $5 million(!) with the Warriors; a move that only solidifies them as eventual champions. Now the question for Davis and the Pelicans is, what’s next?
The Boston Celtics need him
As a Celtics fan, it hurts me to see all of these rumors surrounding Irving possibly leaving in the foreseeable future. It’s especially annoying considering one of the teams associated with the guard happens to be their division rival New York Knicks.
This could probably only occur if Butler decides to leave for The Big Apple. Regardless, it’s still plausible for any scenario to occur involving an Irving departure. Let’s be honest, this type of thing happens all of the time in the NBA. There’s no such thing as loyalty.
As my fellow writer Sam Minton said in his recent piece about Irving, fans may not to be worried at all. Kevin Arnovitz reported on “The Jump” that Kyrie and the Celtics have mutual understanding of a long-term plan. While this is true, there’s actually been plenty of instances where situations can change. The Los Angeles Clippers gave Blake Griffin a five-year max deal, talked about retiring his number in the Staples Center, and then traded him to the Detroit Pistons. Anything can happen.
Anyway, trading for Davis should be the plan. Sure, many fans would argue that Boston would need to give up either Jaylen Brown or Jayson Tatum, and maybe something else, but just imagine a top five player in the league complimenting Irving and Gordon Hayward.
Davis isn’t even in his prime yet, and the Celtics would have him locked up for at least another couple of years. Al Horford is in his 30s now, and Danny Ainge has to start worrying about giving Tatum and Brown new contracts, especially since they’ve both blossomed into stars. They’re already strapped with Hayward’s deal, so why not try to get a third superstar? Tell me, who on Golden State will stop Davis and Irving?
You could make the argument that trying to be in win-now mode will only ruin the future, but desperate times call for desperate measures. Butler and Irving have already stated multiple times their desire to play together. It can’t be Boston. There’s not enough cap space. Hayward is already 28 as well, which means he’ll be in his early 30s when his deal is expired.
Heck, Davis could change his mind about New Orleans. The team did nothing significant in the offseason, other than trading for Julius Randle and losing Rajon Rondo (which low-key hurts especially considering his playmaking abilities and helpfulness for Davis).
They also got Elfird Payton, who’s probably a worse version of Rondo. The Pelicans could be worse than their 48-win finish from the 2017-2018 season.
All in all, losing Kyrie would be a blow to the organization, especially since there was so much hope for the future a year ago. Something needs to be done. Davis could be the answer.