Trade deadline ended a week ago, the dust has settled, and we are slowly getting used to the new balance of power. A lot of players changed teams, and the Raptors and Bucks are looking good. Our focus will shift to the playoff standings and the Zion hunt. A lot of these will not be observed and analyzed for the on-court result but the implications it will have on the Anthony Davis saga.
When it comes to it, the Celtics are considered to be the biggest winners of the trade deadline. Davis stayed in New Orleans, and they will be in the front seat to outbid everyone and get him in Boston. The only potential risk? Davis not committing to them long term (legally he can't do that, but let's be real) is the only thing that decreases the Celtics offer and gives a window to other teams.
The focal point of those concerns isn't Davis Sr. or AD saying he wants LA. Paul George said he wants to play for the Lakers and he is having an MVP season in Oklahoma City. The Celtics decision (and ability) to go out for Davis revolves around Kyrie Irving. When the Knicks traded Porzingis and cleared two max slots for this summers, rumors on KD + Kyrie started to appear. According to Sean Deveny from "Sporting News," the Celtics have a primary suspect for those rumors:
Less subtle in his annoyance was Irving last week, after the Knicks had completed the deal to clear out cap space. Speculation turned immediately to the two players the Knicks were likely to target, and Irving (a free agent in the summer) was at the top of the list.
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.
This is not out of the question, but it is important to point out this wouldn't be the first time an agent does something like that to try and get his client in the desired location. What does irritate a lot of the league is that Paul is seen as a proxy of LeBron through Klutch Sports and that the desired team are the Lakers, a team with a long tradition of tampering.
Kyrie didn't help with his comments about not owing anyone sh-- after he committed at the beginning of the season and made a commercial about staying in Boston.
All this may be insignificant if the Celtics play good enough for Kyrie to commit. Then the Celtics make a strong push for AD in the summer and have a year to convince him to stay in Boston instead of going to LA to play with a 36-year-old LeBron in the Western Conference.
One thing is for sure; teams will not forget the strategy Klutch tried to pull off this trade deadline.