As of now, right this moment, Anthony Davis ranks among the most untouchable players in the NBA.
The Boston Celtics don’t care.
People around the league believe the Celtics will be blowing up the New Orleans Pelicans’ phones if the Davis-DeMarcus Cousins pairing goes south in any way this season, according to The Vertical’s Chris Mannix:
It figures to be an interesting season in Boston. The addition of Gordon Hayward fortified a top-seeded roster, while dismal seasons by the Nets (who will fork over their 2018 first-round pick) and Lakers (who owe Boston their ’18 pick if it falls between Nos. 2 and 5) will help the Celtics continue to build for the future. In addition, rival executives expect Boston to be keeping close tabs on New Orleans, which is entering a critical season. The Pelicans are committed to seeing if an Anthony Davis-DeMarcus Cousins frontcourt can work, but if the season goes awry, it’s widely believed the Celtics will make a strong run at Davis, who is under contract through 2020.
Calling the Pelicans won’t do anything next season. Davis, as Mannix points out, doesn’t have the option of exploring free agency until 2020. And that goal post will shift if he accepts a designated player extension (DPE) from the Pelicans before then.
If the Celtics are interested in poaching a Pelicans big, focusing on Cousins is the smarter play. He can be a free agent after next season, so if things between him and Davis work out, it’ll be him, not The Brow, who New Orleans starts shopping.
Things on the Davis front won’t become interesting until 2019 at the earliest, if and when he turns down the lucrative DPE the Pelicans will undoubtedly dangle. All interest in him before them is futile, and likely empty noise.