The Boston Celtics can arguably put together the best trade package to acquire Anthony Davis, but there’s just one problem: Davis does not sound like he wants to go to Beantown. The rumblings of this began earlier this year, when Davis’ father said he didn’t want the All-Star center suiting up for a franchise that has “no loyalty” to its players. There have also been a handful of reports that Davis has a list of cities where he wants to go that does not include Boston — more recently, that list has been whittled down to the Knicks and Lakers.
But on Wednesday morning, we got our strongest indication yet that Davis does not have a future as a Celtic. Sports Illustrated published a lengthy profile of his agent, Rich Paul, who made it clear that Davis would be a professional for one year if Boston traded for him, but once he’s eligible to become a free agent, he would bounce.
“They can trade for him, but it’ll be for one year,” Paul told S.L. Price. “I mean: If the Celtics traded for Anthony Davis, we would go there and we would abide by our contractual [obligations] and we would go into free agency in 2020. I’ve stated that to them. But in the event that he decides to walk away and you give away assets? Don’t blame Rich Paul.”
It doesn’t get much more cut and dry than this. Of course, anything can happen once a team acquires a player, like when the Thunder got Paul George and eventually convinced him to stick around beyond one season. But Paul is pretty cut and dry here: Davis will do whatever he needs to do before next summer rolls around and he can do what he wants to do.
This all comes at a fascinating time, both because there’s a ton of uncertainty surrounding Kyrie Irving’s future in Boston and because the Celtics are reportedly interested in making a move for Davis regardless of whether Irving stays or goes this summer. Danny Ainge assuredly is confident in his ability to convince Davis to stick around, but as Paul lays it out, it’s awfully hard to see a situation where that would happen.