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Report: Celtics still plan to target Anthony Davis, even if Kyrie Irving leaves

By Matt McCarthy, 985TheSportsHub.com

The Celtics have long coveted New Orleans big man Anthony Davis, but many have questioned whether the Green will still try to trade for Davis this summer given the uncertainty surrounding the future of Kyrie Irving.

But according to NBA insider Chris Mannix, the Celtics are still planning on taking a run at Davis in the coming weeks, no matter if Irving stays in Boston or departs in free agency.

"From what I understand, they're not going to take their foot off the gas when it comes to pursuing Anthony Davis, Mannix said on The Crossover podcast.

If that's true, it sounds like the Pelicans could be very interested in talking to the Celtics.

According to Fletcher Mackel, a New Orleans TV sports anchor, the Pelicans have identified Jayson Tatum as they player they covet the most in return for Davis.

This follows a report from Shams Charania of The Athletic earlier this week, who said the Celtics will be able to put together one of the top trade packages for Davis.

"Across the NBA, rival executives believe the following teams will be able to compile the best packages: The Los Angeles Lakers, New York Knicks, Boston Celtics and Brooklyn Nets," Charania wrote.

But despite the Celtics reported interest in Davis, it sounds like Boston is still not at the top of Davis' list of preferred landing spots.

"[Davis' list] includes the Lakers, Knicks and LA Clippers and that will embolden those teams to pursue him strongest of all," Charania said.

Whether Davis' lukewarm interest in Boston ends up being a deterrent for Danny Ainge and the Celtics remains to be seen, but at least according to Mannix, Kyrie Irving's future has little to do with the decision to try and acquire the Pelicans big man.

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