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Celtics Have Key Disadvantage in Race to Trade for Anthony Davis

DALLAS, TEXAS - MARCH 18: Anthony Davis #23 of the New Orleans Pelicans walks off the court against the Dallas Mavericks in the first half at American Airlines Center on March 18, 2019 in Dallas, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Tom Pennington

The Celtics are still aggressively pursuing Anthony Davis in trade talks despite Davis' representation making it clear that its star doesn't plan on committing to the team long term. If Boston decides to take the risk, they could potentially put up the best package of any team. However, yet another caveat could hold them back.

Davis' contract has a 15% trade kicker worth $4 million that will activate after July 1. This trade kicker will further limit the team financially and is a obstacle that won't be an issue (or as significant) for other teams.

Due to the Rose Rule, the Celtics cannot trade for Davis until at least July 1 when Kyrie Irving either leaves or re-signs with the team. Meanwhile, other teams such as the Knicks and Lakers are able to make the transaction before the trade kicker deadline, avoiding the extra financial burden.

Of course Davis could always waive the trade kicker, but with how much the superstar has seemingly tried to avoid a trade to Boston, that seems unlikely. This small obstacle could end up being a major tool for Davis' team as it can have significant financial implications.

While $4 million doesn't seem like a lot, the number grows due to the Celtics being over the luxury tax threshold.