In recent weeks, the Celtics had told the NBA community that Kyrie Irving's decision to stay in Boston had no impact on their search for Anthony Davis. It was at best seemingly specious.
Yes, the Celts were still trying to negotiate a trade with New Orleans, but according to a Pelicans source, the offers were naturally never as good as those left behind while there was still a reasonable belief that he was possible to keep Irving. In this scenario, it was assumed that the Celtics would have opened their larger asset locker to try their luck for an Irving-Davis ticket for 2019-20, hoping that success would encourage them to stay long-term.
(And if you want to come back much further when the Cs turn to Davis, what would they have offered if they also had a Gordon Hayward before the injury?)
But in the current situation, this same source indicated that, contrary to the information received, the Celts were not quite closed to the idea of including Jayson Tatum in the agreement, but that there would be no not much else.
And the bottom line is that it probably would not have mattered anyway.
When the Lakers saved their truck and unloaded a load of players and first-round picks on the Pelicans dock, it was perhaps not possible for the Celtics to be willing to hinder their future by making three first-round picks and leaving other possibilities. Position project exchanges.
The Lakers, seeking to make the most of the Hollywood years of LeBron James, have cast a bright green light on the present and hope to attract the best free agents in the open spaces when this star crew leaves the stage.
Although the current exchange is not completed before the beginning of next month, the Pelicans do not just sit and wait until 2025 for all these choices – including No. 4 overall Thursday – become players. According to league sources, New Orleans has reportedly begun contacting teams to discuss transactions involving these choices and players, seeking to accelerate the benefits of selling its best player.
In playing with the Lakers, the key element may have been David Griffin. His hiring in April at the head of the Pelicans basketball operations brought a voice free of animosity towards LA that developed when this club and the Davis representation (Rich Paul, who happens to be the only one) LeBron's agent) tried to force this change before the transaction last February. deadline.
While dealing with the Lakers and giving Paul what he wanted may not be appropriate for leaders of the pelican organization or other NBA clubs, it is generally accepted that New Orleans did a good job here. But the anti-Laker feeling of the Pels seemed to play in favor of the Celts when a New Orleans source told the Herald last month that the team "would not be dealing with this club". However, lighter heads and a better Laker offer prevailed.
As for the appearance of the Celtics this season, there is still much to be determined. They seem pretty resigned to the fact that Irving will be gone, but they also feel comfortable with a young Tatum core, Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart – without much choice, to be honest. And if everything goes well with Al Horford, there could be some stability.
Horford has until Tuesday to subscribe for $ 30,123,015 for next season, but both parties have discussed a plan providing for a lower number next season and a new agreement for two years additional. It is unclear whether the way things have unfolded in recent weeks will have an impact on Horford's prospects.
But the greatest uncertainty regarding the competitiveness of the Celts in 2019-20 may well be the rest of the Eastern Conference.
Indeed, Toronto is your reigning NBA champion, but what if Kawhi Leonard manages to rain for the Clippers? What will Philadelphia look like if Jimmy Butler does the same? And how will Milwaukee handle the new deal for Khris Middleton as he seeks to keep free agents Brook Lopez (unrestricted) and Malcolm Brogdon (restricted)?
Injuries inflicted on Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson further blurred the warrior's waters and threw the West into a blender.
So, although the Celtics look disgusted to a good extent now, they actually reflect a lot of the NBA landscape.