Anthony Davis not convinced Pelicans won't deal him to Celtics

Pelicans shootaround update by HUB International NOLA must improve defense reduce turnovers to win more consistently

It's been rumored for quite some time that the Celtics have targeted New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis as a potential trade option.

Davis being involved in trade rumors isn't new, but him actively talking about, and even confirming, those rumors is.

Davis does not outwardly state that he'd like to leave New Orleans in favor of those teams he mentioned. However, the Pelicans have no intention of trading an all-world talent under contract through 2021, no matter the return. It's not about having fans. That is, if the Pelicans ever want to trade their transcendent star, which they don't sound very enthusiastic about at this time. The Pelicans have absolutely no reason to trade him right now - especially with them being in the position to bring back Demarcus Cousins. The first thing you notice about the Celtics roster is the lack of large contracts, which makes sense given the amount of youth in Boston.

But as Davis is on a team with a player like Cousins who was traded when he was told he wouldn't be, he does start to wonder if he could be on the move. Boston would also need to add two of these three players: Marcus Morris, Marcus Smart and Aron Baynes. Outside of parting with draft picks, such as a potential 2018 top-5 pick courtesy of the Los Angeles Lakers or top 2019 pick (s), Boston nearly certainly would have to deal one of its brightest young stars. No player they could trade for now or in a few seasons will be as good as Davis is today.

Davis admitted to Wojnarowski that he has heard the Celtics trade rumors, and was concerned last season.

"He told me that [Boston] was calling, but nothing was going to happen", Davis said.

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"You see how organizations treat players. DeMarcus [Cousins] told me that the [Kings] told him that he wasn't going to get traded, but they traded him", Davis told ESPN.

The Pelicans acquired center DeMarcus Cousins in a trade with the Sacramento Kings last season, and while he has formed a productive combination with Davis, there isn't enough around them for the team to be true contenders in the competitive Western Conference.

Davis, who signed a five-year, $145 million deal with the Pelicans in 2015, is now pleased with the direction of the franchise. Davis' trade value is interesting given the value of big men has declined in the National Basketball Association in recent years.

In 25 games this season, the former Kentucky standout is averaging 25.2 points, 10.6 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 2.0 blocks per contest.

However, the Pelicans still have a much longer track record of franchise instability as well as an inability to put together a coherent long-term plan for success, unlike the teams which he listed down.


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