(Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

Report: Celtics confident they can keep Anthony Davis long-term, preparing massive offer

By Matt McCarthy, 985TheSportsHub.com

It’s no secret the Boston Celtics covet Anthony Davis. The only question that remains to be answered is if they can acquire him and, more importantly, if they can convince him to stay.

According to a new ESPN report by Adrian Wojnarowski and Zach Lowe, the Celtics apparently believe they can get a long-term commitment out of Davis if they acquire him via a trade.

But it sounds like Kyrie Irving could be the key to the puzzle for Danny Ainge and company.

According to the report, teams around the league believe Davis is aiming to sign with the Lakers in 2020, but perhaps the Celtics could convince Davis to stay if Irving also signs a long-term extension in Boston.

“The stance of Davis and his camp toward Boston is linked to their view of Kyrie Irving’s future, sources said. Davis and his camp no longer believe that Irving is a sure bet to re-sign with the Celtics this summer,” Wojnarowski and Lowe wrote.

Lowe and Wojnarowski reported that the Celtics “remain confident in Irving re-signing."

“But whatever happens between now and then, whatever issues might threaten to topple Irving's preseason commitment to an extension, the Celtics believe the acquisition of Davis will soothe them all. Boston believes this: Getting Davis probably clinches an Irving commitment,” the duo said.

Jan 16, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Celtics fans hold up a sign for New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis (not pictured) during the second half at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

The timing of Davis’ trade request is troubling for the Celtics, however. They cannot acquire the New Orleans big man until this summer due to the NBA’s Rose Rule.

But according to the report, the Celtics have made it clear to the Pelicans that if they hold on to Davis until this summer, they are prepared to beat any offer from around the league.

“The Pelicans are aware the Celtics are preparing a massive offer for Davis if he remains on the New Orleans roster past the trade deadline,” Wojnarowski and Lowe reported, while adding that the Celtics would like to avoid offering Jayson Tatum in a trade, if at all possible.

The NBA trading deadline is Thursday, February 7. If Anthony Davis is still a Pelican next Thursday night, things are about to get very interesting for the Celtics.

You can hear Matt McCarthy on various 98.5 The Sports Hub programs. Follow him on Twitter @MattMcCarthy985.