Although it may seem fairly obvious the Celtics’ handling of the Anthony Davis trade talks with the Pelicans was impacted by what’s going on with Kyrie Irving — which Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald is reporting — multiple reports that surfaced prior to Saturday’s deal indicated the opposite.
As much as there was a desire to obtain Davis, the risk involved with acquiring him was too much. Because even though Irving wants to play alongside Davis, it seems less likely by the day that he’ll suit up for the Celtics next season. So had the Celtics dealt Jayson Tatum and other assets for Davis, that could’ve meant Boston walked into 2020-21 with no Davis, Irving or Tatum.
Which explains why the Celtics weren’t willing to offer New Orleans as much as initially promised around the trade deadline. However, despite the initial report following the Lakers-Pelicans trade stating the Celtics weren’t willing to give up Tatum, the Herald’s report states Tatum was available, but it would have been closer to a 1-for-1 deal. Even with the guarantee of losing Davis after 2019-20, that move would not have been worth the Pelicans’ time.