NBA Rumors: Celtics believe Rich Paul planted story on Kyrie Irving's future

Nick Goss
NBC Sports Boston

NBA Rumors: Celtics believe Rich Paul planted story on Kyrie Irving's future originally appeared on nbcsportsboston.com

Anthony Davis' agent, Rich Paul, seemingly did all he could to engineer a deal to send his client from the New Orleans Pelicans to the Los Angeles Lakers before last week's NBA trade deadline, but he was unsuccessful.

Davis remained with the Pelicans, and now every team must wait until the summer to pursue the superstar center.

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One team that couldn't trade for Davis before the deadline was the Boston Celtics, due to a league rule. The Lakers tried to acquire Davis (and reportedly offered quite a bit) before Boston could enter the bidding, knowing that the C's could put together a more enticing package for New Orleans in the summer. 

The Celtics, according to Sean Deveney of the Sporting News, were not pleased with Paul throughout the process, and here's why:

The Celtics were annoyed by the story of Irving having eyes for New York, not because of Irving, but because they felt the story was planted by Davis' agent, Rich Paul, in order to scare the Pelicans into thinking Boston would back off making a trade offer for Davis in July if Irving left.

"It was cheap and underhanded," one source told SN.

The timing of the rumors on Irving's willingness (or lack thereof) to re-sign with the Celtics as a free agent this summer didn't seem like a coincidence. The superstar point guard told C's season ticket holders in October that he planned to re-sign with Boston, and his future with the C's wasn't news again until the Davis trade request became the biggest story in the league the Monday before Super Bowl LIII.

What's next? The Celtics should get a chance to acquire Davis in the summer and pair him with Irving, which would form an incredible duo that could help Boston dominate the Eastern Conference for years to come. It also would be the worst-case scenario for Paul, whose top client, LeBron James, still doesn't have a superstar teammate on the Los Angeles Lakers.

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