Making his usual weekly radio appearance on 98.5’s Toucher and Rich this morning, Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge spoke publicly for the first time since Anthony Davis‘ trade request went public. As Keith Smith of CelticsBlog relays, Ainge didn’t address Davis specifically, but answered a few questions that were indirectly related to the Pelicans star.
Ainge said there was no way to circumvent the Rose Rule restriction that prevents the C’s from trading for another designated rookie while Kyrie Irving remains under contract and admitted he has spoken to his own players – including Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown – about how to deal with trade rumors. Most interestingly, he said that he’d be willing to acquire a star player without assurances that he’d re-sign in Boston.
Of course, as Smith observes, that stance could come with some caveats — if the Celtics pursue Davis, perhaps they’d be reluctant to make their absolute best offer unless AD provides them with assurances that he’d stick around for more than one year.
Ainge was also asked about the speculation that Irving might reconsider his own informal commitment to re-sign with the Celtics.
“I talk to him all the time,” Ainge said of Kyrie, according to Smith. “I think he likes it in Boston. I can’t talk about specifics. That’s taboo. But I’m optimistic.”
Here’s more on the Celtics:
- A source “very close to the situation” laughed off the rumors suggesting that Irving is strongly weighing his options and considering leaving Boston, writes Steve Bulpett of The Boston Herald. According to Bulpett’s source, those whispers may be coming from outside voices who have a vested interest in sowing doubt about Irving’s plans.
- Veteran forward Marcus Morris suggested this week that he’d be fine with the Celtics standing pat at the deadline, since he believes it’s a “special squad” (video link via NBC Sports Boston).
- ESPN’s Kevin Pelton and Bobby Marks (Insider link) share hypothetical Anthony Davis trade scenarios involving seven different trade partners, including the Celtics. Pelton’s suggestion for Boston’s offseason Davis trade package features both Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, along with Aron Baynes, Guerschon Yabusele, and Semi Ojeleye, but doesn’t include any of the team’s first-round picks.
- For his part, Tatum isn’t concerned about his name popping up in trade rumors involving Davis, as A. Sherrod Blakely of NBC Sports Boston details. “It’s good to be wanted,” Tatum said. “I guess you can say that. But that’s it; I’m not a free agent. I can control what I can control.”