Last night, while we were all enjoying the beautiful weather with Summer officially hitting New England, one of the biggest trades in recent NBA memory was agreed upon. The New Orleans Pelicans sent Anthony Davis to the Los Angeles Lakers in exchange for Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, and three first-round picks – including the No. 4 overall in the 2019 Draft. This move sent shockwaves throughout the NBA, as many did not believe Davis would be traded this quickly.
The Lakers are now a 7/2 favorite to win the NBA Title, which are the best odds in all of basketball. Now, they do not have a lot of cap space to fill out the rest of their roster, but they now have two of the best players in the NBA. Celtics fans, I hope you're sitting down, but imagine if this team was able to land a Kemba Walker, Kyrie Irving, or Kawhi Leonard as well? Look out. But I digress. This is why the Lakers are the Lakers, which should infuriate the likes of the Celtics, Bucks, and Raptors. Yes, you have a better team and organization than the Lakers, but you don't have LA.
For the Pelicans, this is actually a fantastic move. The Pelicans now have the #1 and #4 picks in this year's NBA Draft, as well as a bevy of draft picks for the foreseeable future. In addition to that, being able to snag Ingram and Ball, two starting-caliber players, is nothing to laugh at either. The Pelicans were able to play this perfectly, scaring the Lakers into thinking they would trade Davis to the Celtics and getting as much as possible out of them. The Pelicans could be a fringe-playoff team next season and have the assets to push them into the realm of contenders if they play their cards right.
Speaking of the Celtics, this is kind of a mess for them now, right? The Celtics have been putting all of their eggs in Anthony Davis' basket since he entered the league. Now that he has joined their arch rival, the Celtics have to make a corresponding move, right?
Not so fast. In my opinion, the Celtics' future is unclear as it has been since they made the decision to trade Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett. Let's face it, folks, Kyrie Irving is not coming back to Boston. He is either headed to the Nets, or perhaps even the Lakers, but he does not want to be in Boston. This team has a plethora of draft picks and assets, but, as currently constituted, this team is built around Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, and Gordon Hayward. Sure, trading for a player like Clint Capela would most certainly help, but the Celtics need an alpha dog. Signing for a bunch of scrubs and rolling out the same team as last year will prove to be another second round exit for the Celtics, with another year marked in disappointment. They do not have the cap space to sign one of the top tier free agents in this year's class and they do not have the roster room to draft all of the picks that they have.
At this point, the Celtics need to make a trade and it has to be a relatively big one. They need to trade for a superstar that will fit with their team, because Irving simply never did. They need to identify a couple star players that they think could fit and pounce.
I think Danny Ainge truly thought the Celtics would land Davis and they are sitting there with nothing to show for it at the moment. Again, I do not want to dump on what the Celtics have been able to accomplish. They have turned into one of the best organizations in all of basketball with so many assets they realistically do not know what to do with them. But at some point, you need to take that next step into being a championship contender, which the Celtics are currently not. With the Bucks, Raptors, and even the 76ers manning the top of the East, the Celtics are not the powerhouse that everyone thought they would assume when LeBron James headed West.
Now it is time to see if the Celtics fold or build off of this...