Aside from Jimmy Butler of the Chicago Bulls, the Boston Celtics are also eyeing Anthony Davis of the New Orleans Pelicans via trade. The Celtics agreed to trade the No. 1 overall pick to the Philadelphia 76ers for the No. 3 pick and a 2018 first-round pick. Chris Mannix of The Vertical said the Celtics “would love to have their hands” on the 24-year-old Davis.

Acquiring Davis will mean an upgrade in the power forward slot for the Celtics, who have Amir Johnson and Jonas Jerebko occupying the said position. The Celtics can trade the No. 3 pick and the 2018 high pick to the Pelicans for Davis, the first overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft.

Johnson will become an Unrestricted Free Agent this summer and he has plans to reunite with his former team, the Toronto Raptors. An 11-year veteran, Johnson has averaged 7.5 points and 5.7 rebounds in 745 career games. Davis, for his part, averaged 28.0 points, 11.8 rebounds and 2.2 blocks in 75 games last season for the Pelicans.

With the No. 1 overall pick in their hand, the 76ers can take Washington point guard Markelle Fultz, who will team up with fellow youngsters Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons to make the team a contender in the Eastern Conference anew. The Celtics decided to pass on Fultz as they already have a starting point guard in Isaiah Thomas.

Pelicans will not let go of Davis

However, Mannix said the Pelicans might not let go of Davis, who signed a five-year, $127 million deal with the team last season.

He will be an unrestricted free agent in 2021. Also, the Pelicans will try to give the partnership of Davis and DeMarcus Cousins a full season to determine if they can lead the team to the playoffs. The Pelicans traded for Cousins shortly after the NBA All-Star game, forming one of the best frontcourts in the league.

However, the trade did not pay dividends as the Pelicans missed the playoffs with a 34-48 mark.

Butler another option for the Celtics

If the Pelicans won’t budge, the Celtics can train their sights on Butler. There were reports that the Celtics were stacking first-round picks to be able to trade for Butler, who has been the pillar of the Chicago Bulls since Derrick Rose was traded to the New York Knicks.

Known as a scorer, Butler can give the Celtics another scoring option while alleviating the burden on Thomas.

Thomas emerged as a superstar last season as he led Boston to the Eastern Conference Finals. Last season, Thomas averaged 28.9 points, 2.7 rebounds and 5.9 assists in 76 regular–season games. However, he missed the three games of the East Finals, allowing the Cavaliers to advance to the NBA Finals against the eventual champions Golden State Warriors.

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