Winslow Townson/USA Today Sports

NBA execs expect Celtics to keep tabs on Anthony Davis

Ty Anderson
July 17, 2017 - 8:17 pm

On paper, the Celtics look done. But in reality, C’s president Danny Ainge is never done.

Especially when it comes to his pursuit of the Pelicans’ Anthony Davis, who remains the centerpiece an almost Bigfoot hunter-esque chase for Ainge, even after signing Gordon Hayward to a max deal and seemingly finding a new Big Three in Hayward, Al Horford, and Isaiah Thomas.

“Rival executives expect Boston to be keeping close tabs on New Orleans, which is entering a critical season,” The Vertical's Chris Mannix wrote of this upcoming 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.”

As noted by Mannix, the C’s own both the Nets’ and Lakers’ 2018 picks (the Brooklyn pick is Boston’s no matter what, and the L.A. pick goes to the Celtics if the pick falls anywhere between No. 2 and No. 5), which only adds to a treasure chest headlined by even more first-round picks (their own and picks from both the Clippers and Grizzlies still at their disposal), along with some star-studded prospects coming into the NBA mix.

But the Celtics -- ironically enough given the rumors that once linked them to this player, too -- will have to wait to see how DeMarcus Cousins fits into the New Orleans mix.

The ‘BoogieBrow’ combination had just 17 games together last season, with the Pelicans going 7-10 when Cousins played, and they ultimately missed out on the postseason by two spots (they were seven wins behind the eight-seed Trail Blazers). But with Jrue Holiday there to support a loaded frontcourt mix of Cousins (who saw his scoring go down, but his rebounding increase with the Pelicans) and Davis, it’s clear that the Pelicans view themselves as a possible contender, and if so, would obviously like to extend Cousins beyond his current contract, which ends after next season.

Of course, this would not be the first time that the Celtics have allegedly expressed interest in Davis (who wouldn’t?), with his name first coming up when the Celtics officially landed the 2017 No. 1 overall pick, and in fan-driven rumors long before that.

The 24-year-old Davis, who was the No. 1 overall pick in 2012, averaged a career-best 28.0 points, 11.8 rebounds, and 36:06 of action per night in 75 games last season, and has been named to the All-NBA First Team two times in his career, including 2016-17.

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