That’s according to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, who believes if Irving leaves the Boston Celtics for the New York Knicks then that will play into the hands of the Lakers in their pursuit of Davis.
Davis’ trade request back in February has had a profound effect on both franchises involved in negotiations.
Dell Demps lost his job as the New Orleans Pelicans GM swiftly after the trade deadline and now Johnson has decided to walk away from his role as president of basketball operations at the Lakers ahead of a franchise-defining summer.
No matter what is going on with both franchises right now, Davis is expected to join a new team this summer with a host of teams set to battle for his signature.
The Celtics are seen as the Lakers’ biggest rivals to land the 26-year-old due to the number of assets they could potentially offer.
However, Boston’s trade package would likely be substantially different if Irving decides to leave in free agency, with a move to the New York Knicks heavily touted.
And Windhorst suggests that could end up playing into the hands of the Lakers.
“Obviously Anthony Davis wants the heck out of New Orleans, he made that incredibly clear… last night,” he said on ESPN’s Get Up!
“The Lakers really have to hope that Kyrie Irving leaves the Celtics.
“Why does that have something to do with it?
“Because for the Celtics to make their best offer, I don’t think they can do it if Kyrie Irving leaves.
“You’d potentially be risking Jayson Tatum and Kyrie Irving for a one-year rental.
“I just don’t think they can do it.
“If Kyrie Irving goes to the Knicks and the Celtics have to make an offer that’s maybe lesser, that brings back other offers.
“The second thing that needs to happen, they need to do whatever they can do to get up in that lottery.
“The lottery is their saviour. Their percentage chance is in the single digits, but if it hits it could totally change everything in the franchise.
“Either getting Ja Morant or Zion Williamson, or getting a pick that they could re-engage to get Anthony Davis.”