Maybe Anthony Davis is willing to play for the Celtics after all

Yahoo Sports Contributor
Yahoo Sports
<a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/nba/players/5007/" data-ylk="slk:Anthony Davis">Anthony Davis</a> indicated he’d be open to playing for the <a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/nba/teams/boston/" data-ylk="slk:Celtics">Celtics</a>. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
Anthony Davis indicated he’d be open to playing for the Celtics. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)

The 2018-19 NBA season has been filled with drama, and no story has been bigger than Anthony Davis’ future outside of the New Orleans Pelicans.

Since Davis requested a trade, much has been made about how the star big man did not want to play for the Boston Celtics. His agents indicated to the Pelicans that he’d only be willing to sign a long-term extension with the Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers, New York Knicks and Milwaukee Bucks, while Davis’ father said he didn’t want his son playing for the Celtics because of how they treated Isaiah Thomas.

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However, he played down those rumors in a press conference on Saturday.

That’s not exactly a ringing endorsement from Davis about Boston, even if it is the warmest he’s been to playing in green. Of course, Davis may be watching his words more after he was fined $50,000 by the league when his agent, Rich Paul, went public with the trade request.

Is there any team Davis won’t play for?

After the press conference, Davis went on NBATV’s broadcast of the All-Star Game’s media day, where he spoke further about his future with the Pelicans and possibly the Celtics.

When asked about the report that he’d be willing to play for the Celtics, Davis didn’t sound particularly enthused to play in Boston as much as excited to play anywhere but New Orleans.

“All 29 other teams are on my list,” Davis said. “I don’t have a preferred destination. Like I said, I just want to win. It could be a big market, small market. I don’t care. I want to win. Obviously whatever team I get traded to or play for that year or whatever, if I get traded, I’m not sure. I’ll make the best of it, and then when free agency comes, we’ll see what happens. I can’t tell the future, but all 29 teams are on the list.”

That line is surely going to irk plenty of Pelicans fans since he’s making his disdain for the only franchise he’s ever known clear. Davis may be covering his tracks as far as his desire to play for the Lakers, but it comes across as the Pelicans — forget the Phoenix Suns, Cleveland Cavaliers and Chicago Bulls — having the worst situation in basketball.

Do the Celtics have a realistic shot?

The Celtics are often brought up in Davis talks because they can seemingly offer the best package for Davis this side of Zion Williamson. With as many as four first-round picks in the upcoming draft plus talented twenty-somethings Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Terry Rozier, the Celtics have much more than, say, the Lakers to offer.

However, Davis’ latest comments indicated that he is excited for the prospect of free agency and won’t necessarily commit to a long-term contract with any team he’s dealt to. The Celtics may be hesitant to include Tatum in a deal for Davis, and they certainly won’t if Davis can just leave after one season.

Boston couldn’t submit an offer for Davis before the trade deadline because of the Rose Rule, but it will continue to come up since Davis is close with Celtics star Kyrie Irving, who reportedly pitched the All-Star on playing for the Celtics. Irving is now his own flight risk after his latest comments, but the Celtics have the firepower to add Davis if they’re willing to take a leap of faith.

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