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Celtics offseason gaining traction as Aron Baynes opts to stay, Anthony Davis talks continue – Boston Herald


The Celtics should know a great deal more about their 2019-20 roster in the few days leading up to the June 20 draft, but the wheels have begun turning.

Following up on an ESPN report, the Celts have, indeed, engaged New Orleans in trade talks for Anthony Davis. Those discussions began earlier this past season, and while they were paused awhile after the Pelicans fired general manager Dell Demps, the sides have been in touch again since New Orleans hired David Griffin in April to run its basketball operation.

Meanwhile, Aron Baynes has decided to opt in to the second year of the free agent contract he signed last summer, according to an NBA source, meaning the center will be on the books for $5,453,280.

Baynes had until tomorrow to make his intentions known — the same date as Kyrie Irving.

The Celtics have known from the start that the All-Star point guard will not be accepting the $21,329,752 for next season and will look to sign a longer term deal. The club is not waiting on the deadline, in that Irving does not have to opt out; the final year on the contract is removed if he does nothing.

According to multiple league sources, Irving still has not removed the Celtics from consideration as he contemplates where to sign as a free agent, though the assumption around the NBA was he was looking to go elsewhere to join up with another marquee free agent. That concept was placed in some measure of doubt when Kevin Durant — the most prominent of the potential 2019 free agents — suffered a ruptured Achilles’ tendon in Game 5 of the NBA Finals Monday night.

There still is no definitive word on whether that situation will change Irving’s thinking, or if a successful Celtics pursuit of Davis could increase the chances Irving stays in Boston.

As has been the case all along, it’s fair to think the Celts clearly would like to have more solid information from Irving on his plans so they can more properly formulate their own procedures moving forward.

For example, knowing what Irving will do could impact what the Celtics offer for Davis. At this point, however, sources continue to indicate the club is intent on trying to secure him no matter what else transpires — and regardless of statements that, if acquired, Davis will not re-sign with the Celtics when he can become a free agent in 2020, a sentiment most recently expressed in comments by his agent to Sports Illustrated.

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