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Is Anthony Davis the Celtics’ End Game?

There’s been an endless barrage of blockbuster moves and tantalizing rumors this summer. Tuesday’s jaw-dropper was the latest instance, with the Cavaliers sending Kyrie Irving packing to the Celtics.

Given the pace of the NBA’s extreme summer makeover, it won’t be long until a new batch of rumors pops up. And given the fact that the Celtics still have a long list of prospects and pieces even after the Kyrie trade, it’s easy to wonder if Boston isn’t done despite adding two All-Stars already this summer.
The most logical target? It might be Pelicans big man Anthony Davis. The All-Star’s name has already popped up in trade rumors due to the Pelicans’ messy rebuilding situation (which has no clear end in sight). Will the Brow-to-Boston rumors dominate the 2017-18 season?

Andrew Sharp and Ben Golliver discussed Davis and the Celtics on this week’s episode of Open Floor. Here’s their read on the situation:
(This transcript has been edited and condensed for clarity.)
Andrew Sharp: How long do you think we have until the next Celtics superstar rumor? Plus or minus, 72 hours?
Ben Golliver: In terms of a trade or free agency or what are we talking here?

Sharp: Yeah, like the next Chris Mannix: “They are eyeing Marc Gasol, they’re eyeing Anthony Davis.” How long until there’s a well-sourced Celtics report that they’re angling for a big man?
Golliver: Well, I tried to kind of disguise it earlier when I called the Celtics “The USA Basketball Club.” I think we can just shatter your 72-hour timeline and say the Anthony Davis stuff is just going to go nuts here, right? I mean, I’m pretty sure this is where it’s headed, where you have these guys who are under 30, on a timeline with the Celtics’ other young prospects. I talked to Danny Leroux about this on the hot-seat episode, but the Pelicans could be completely upside-down by this time next summer.

 

They could be almost unrecognizable to the point where if you’re Davis that could be the last straw in terms of wanting to be there. I could easily see a situation next summer where Davis says the exact same thing to New Orleans that Kyrie said to Cleveland this summer. And he would actually be about 10 times more justified in saying it than Kyrie was this summer given how much craziness has been around him throughout his entire career down there. And how lacking in commitment that organization seems to be towards winning. To me, I think that’s Boston’s long-term master plan, and if you’re trying to position yourself for an Anthony Davis trade—or signing—I really think bringing in a guy like Kyrie Irving definitely helps you if you’re Boston. I think he’s got that credibility among his fellow players. I’m surprised he doesn’t get voted MVP every year from the Players’ Choice Awards. For whatever reason, they love his game. And I think he’s going to kind of end up being a recruiting magnet for that team.

Sharp: Yeah, players definitely think Kyrie is amazing. And he has been in big moments, so shout out to him. And your point on Anthony Davis is dead-on. I was thinking about how almost everyone involved n this trade is a winner, except Danny Ainge. He’s going to have to tread carefully over the next couple of weeks in Boston. He’s going to have to batten down the hatches. There’s going to be a lot of takes flying around. Lot of upset Boston people. But if he turns around, and it’s entirely feasible, and 11 months from now the Pelicans are in shambles and he could try and give them 50 cents on the dollar for Anthony Davis and make that deal happen. And that’s the way every Celtics conversation ends. We don’t really have any idea what the Celtics are doing, but if they swing an Anthony Davis trade we’ll all look stupid. So I’m glad to know nothing has really changed after all of this.

Golliver: For sure. Hey, all this Kyrie vs. LeBron, Celtics vs. Cavaliers talk—when they meet for the first time, that’s the most anticipated regular-season NBA game since LeBron’s first trip back to Cleveland when he was with Miami, right? Wouldn’t you say?
Sharp: Hell, yeah. And it’s so much more fun.
Golliver: It might be bigger!
Sharp: I think, well, I don’t know. It might be bigger among our nerdy corner of the Internet, but I don’t know if it’s going to be bigger among mainstream sports fans because it’s also going to be going up against NFL, but I love it. The KD return to Oklahoma City was sort of sold on that same level as a spectacle we should all tune in for, and I tuned in and watched like 15 minutes of that game before being like: ‘Alright, this is over. Cool.’ But Celtics vs. Cavaliers are going to have some wars next year and it’s going to start Oct. 17. Both of those teams are pretty evenly matched, granted the Celtics still have issues up front that they have not been able to solve for two years now. And the Cavs will kill them on the boards. But that’s going to be fun as hell all year long to watch these guys.

Golliver: Yeah, I think you’re right. This is definitely bigger than the KD Return Game, I think it’s bigger than LeBron’s first game back in Miami, that really wasn’t anything once he left the Heat. I think it’s the biggest since we had all those creepy signs there were taking awful digs at LeBron in his first trip back to Ohio. I think it’s the biggest game since then.
Sharp: It would be really weird to watch broadcast of that now, because when that game happened, it was weirdly OK, even among mainstream rationale people, to just hate LeBron. No one really batted an eye when Cleveland lost its mind. And I think now, given the evolution of LeBron over the last six or seven years, it would be really bizarre to go back and watch the full 2-½ hour broadcast of that Heat game.
Golliver: I can’t wait to see the signs Cavs fans have for Kyrie. ‘This Is What You’re Missing’ or ‘What Kind Of Idiot Would Want To Leave LeBron?’
Sharp: ‘The Earth Is Round, God Damnit!’
Golliver: Exactly, see you’re with me!
To hear more from Andrew Sharp and Ben Golliver, subscribe to the Open Floor podcast on iTunes.
This article was originally published on SI.com

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