The NBA season is coming to an end, slowly, but surely. We are standing in the face of what could be one of the greatest comebacks in the NBA Finals with the Golden State Warriors managing to shake the loss of Kevin Durant to a 3-2 series, with game six being played tonight in Toronto. Anyone who watched Game 5 could see the impact Durant’s return was having on the series and how devastating his absence will be, but this will also be a chance for the 73-9 Warriors of two seasons ago to resurface and remind the league how dominant they were and can still be. The injury to Kevin Durant will not just reverberate throughout this historical series but will be felt throughout the off season as we are creeping into the NBA draft and the feeding frenzy known as free agency. The NBA waters are littered with potential franchise changing players and the conversation quickly turned to who will go where for what price when KD went down.
The Easy Money Sniper has made his own headlines with thoughts on where he will go this off season, if anywhere, but two other players have been making the NBA sea choppier than usual, those two being Anthony Davis and Kyrie Irving. It was reported this week that Irving is going to decline his player option and opt to go into free agency with many believing this spells doom for the Celtics retaining their mercurial point guard. This is not necessarily the case but is not the focus of my piece, instead I want to look at the Celtics feverish desire to obtain the player they have been fawning over for half a decade, Anthony Davis.
The Boston Celtics and their love affair with the 6’10” monster NBA All-Star has been well documented and every time any dissension rose up in New Orleans somehow Davis’ name would be thrown into possible trade talks; nothing has changed except now it can become a reality, but it may not be the reality the Celtics should be going for. There is no denying the Celtics fell way short of what should have been a season that would see them in the NBA Finals challenging the Warriors instead of the first time Raptors, and there is no denying that much of that failure is on the poor chemistry that infected and spread throughout the team. There were games where it seemed we saw five individual players on the court and not a cohesive unit. It was like watching street ball in a New York summer, enjoyable for the talent displayed but a disaster for team ball.
Now, with the Draft and off season the Celtics have a chance to change some things up and the word on the Boston streets is they want to go all in on an Anthony Davis trade; all in meaning likely trading away all of their first round picks this draft and maybe their first round pick for 2020 which is top 6 protected by a sure to be drowning Grizzles team. In that trade package will also be the much-coveted Jayson Tatum and Marcus Smart will be in there to make the monies being swapped match. This seems like an awful lot to give away for a player with an agent that has made it clear to the Celtics first and foremost that his client will not resign in Beantown.
For any NBA 2K fan this trade is a no brainer. You get a sure-fire talent of incredible levels in Anthony Davis, a player who has improved every year exponentially since coming into the league just six years ago and averaged a double-double every year since his rookie season but if you take a closer look at his stats, past his 28pts and 12 rebounds per game you see a player that has never played a full NBA season, with many seasons only seeing him play under 70 games. Those are troubling stats to consider when you are trading away a high potential player of Jayson Tatum’s caliber, especially after seeing what he did in the playoffs last year without Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward, our two best players at the time. As of now, to compare the two players would be a jesters joke since Tatum has only finished his second season and was a bit lackluster this year as coach Stevens tried to utilize all the pieces of his team, even reintegrating Gordon Hayward into the scheme, a herculean task with the high level of talent and egos he had to move around to make it work.
It is possible that Danny Ainge was simply fanning the Anthony Davis fire to raise the offers to the Pelicans, better setting himself up to be a player in the three team trade scenarios the Pelicans are willing to entertainment or simply to deplete the roster of other teams, I mean we all know he is a trade maestro. We are a week away from the beginning of the fervor but as a Boston Celtics fan, the anxiety of a potential bad move by Celtics brass is enough to make waiting for the off season a hair turning gray moment.