Pelicans center Anthony Davis wants to win.
“Winning. That’s it. That’s how you’re judged,” the 6-foot-10 star All-Star told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. “You can score, you can dominate. You can do whatever. But they calculate everything off winning. You know that. I know that. Everybody in the league knows that.”
Davis, who is averaging a double-double with 25.2 points and 10.6 rebounds per game this season, has been on the Celtics’ radar for quite some time. Even with the team’s recent additions of Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward, Wojnarowski said Tuesday that “Boston has remained vigilant on the possibility of acquiring Davis.”
Although Wojnarowski also mentioned the Pelicans have “no intention of trading” Davis, talk of him potentially coming to Boston is nothing new. The Vertical’s Chris Mannix reported in July that “rival executives expect Boston to be keeping close tabs on New Orleans.”
Having traded for DeMarcus Cousins in February, the Pelicans are hoping a Davis-Cousins front court can be the missing piece to their playoff puzzle. The team has advanced to the playoffs just once in the past six seasons and were swept by the Warriors in the opening round.
Should this season goes awry, Mannix said “it’s widely believed the Celtics will make a strong run at Davis,” who is in the second season of a 5-year, $127 million contract. Based on his comments to Wojnarowski, Boston seems like it could be a suitable fit for the 24-year-old.
“It bothers me,” Davis said of his current team’s recent postseason history. “You know you’re doing everything in your power to try and win. Playing through injuries, playing a ton of minutes, diving on the floor, but you just can’t come up with enough wins to go to the playoffs. And it isn’t enough just going to the playoffs. You want to make noise. You want to be a threat.”
The Celtics are becoming just that. At 26-7, they have the best record in the Eastern Conference, and as Davis noted, “they’re still playing well” in spite of Hayward’s injury. Davis hasn’t given up on his current team, however, telling Wojnarowski that not only does he want to win, but he also wants to do it in New Orleans.
As much as Davis is craving a championship, he is well-aware that teams feel similarly — and are willing to make personnel changes at all costs.
“At the same time, though, you see how organizations treat players,” he told Wojnarowski. “Isaiah Thomas. DeMarcus told me that the [Kings] told him that he wasn’t going to get traded, but they traded him. Isaiah took his team to the Eastern Conference finals, and they traded him.”