Fans in the sellout TD Garden crowd weren’t shy about expressing their feelings toward rumored trade target Anthony Davis Monday night.
The announcer’s flat introduction of the 6-foot-10 center out of Kentucky was met with a noticeably warm ovation prior to tip-off between the Pelicans and Celtics. Davis, who has been linked to Boston for quite some time, acknowledged after the game that he heard the cheers but noted he’s only focused on New Orleans.
“I’m trying to do whatever I can to help this team get wins with the roster we have,” Davis said after the Pelicans’ 113-100 loss Monday. “It’s been a rocky season, so it’s on me to try to figure it out.”
Davis didn’t tip his hand about his thoughts regarding the future — specifically, whether Boston would be a destination of interest to him — though previous reports suggest there’s no question the Celtics would most definitely be in pursuit should he become available. But even if Davis had his sights 100 percent set on the Celtics, and his reticence was solely a function of the league’s tampering rules, a deal sending him to Boston still can’t happen this season due to contract stipulations.
While speculation continues to mount, Davis says he remains committed to New Orleans.
“For me, I just go out there and play with this team and go out there and try to have fun and get wins,” he said. “That’s all I’m worried about is getting wins for this team and hopefully, we can get further than we did last year.”
No matter how much the 25-year-old MVP candidate preaches that his only concern is “getting wins for this team,” however, the proposition of dealing him always manages to work itself into conversation. Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry reiterated the trade talks surrounding Davis do not put off the young group.
“Right now, he’s under contract and playing for us,” Gentry said. “That’s all we worry about. We try to worry about winning games. That’s it. That’s going to take care of itself when the time comes. So it’s not a distraction at all.”
Davis — who is expected to either ink a super-max contract extension with the Pelicans or be traded before he’s scheduled to hit unrestricted free agency in 2021 — posted 41 points Monday, despite a tremendous defensive effort from rookie Robert Williams. After the game, he stopped to chat with friend and fellow Team USA superstar Kyrie Irving, which, of course, only added fuel to trade rumors fire.