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Boston Celtics might be ready to move on from dream of Anthony Davis or Karl-Anthony Towns with pick in 2018 NBA Draft

Prized Texas center Mohamed Bamba is believed to be sitting in Danny Ainge’s crosshairs.

NBA: Boston Celtics at New Orleans Pelicans Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

For the last several years, New Orleans has endured all sorts of Anthony Davis rumors, but none seemed to needle as much as those originating from Boston. The Celtics, loaded with young talent and future draft picks, were going to save The Brow by rescuing him from the eternally woeful Pelicans and New Orleans would be placed in a good position to kickstart their rebuild.

NCAA Basketball: Texas at Oklahoma Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Following a season in which the Pelicans exceeded all expectations by advancing to the second round of the 2018 playoffs and Davis triggered the Designated Players Veteran Extension next summer — making him eligible for the richest contract in NBA history, it was easy to surmise these facts should scare the pirahana away from the waters of New Orleans. Apparently, other teams might now indeed be viewing the odds of extricating Davis impossible because there is evidence that Danny Ainge is aggressively pursuing to fill his hole in the middle of the paint through a different option: University of Texas center Mohamed Bamba.

Sources told Sporting News that Boston has expressed interest in Bamba, including interviewing him at the Chicago pre-draft combine two weeks ago. Bamba measured in with a record wingspan of 7-10 in Chicago, reinforcing his status as the most ready-made rim protector in the draft.

Bamba is slated to be selected towards the top of the 2018 Draft, likely getting picked somewhere between the third and sixth picks. Boston has the 27th pick, but their roster and war chest of draft picks is loaded with enviable assets to move up as high as they’d like to in the draft later this month. Although people might be shocked to hear the Celtics are willing to part with Jaylen Brown after watching him play so well in this postseason, realize Brad Stevens would still have the use of Jayson Tatum and Gordon Hayward on the wings.

Both the Memphis Grizzlies (4th overall) and the Dallas Mavericks (5th overall) have made it known they’re open to the idea of trading their high draft picks in order to improve their teams, and it makes perfect sense for them to target a young, talented wing. The Grizzlies have Marc Gasol and Mike Conley while the Mavericks have Dennis Smith Jr. and could fill their center position during the upcoming free agency period with either DeMarcus Cousins, Clint Capela, DeAndre Jordan or Julius Randle.

Regardless of the path the Boston Celtics elect to take, one thing is readily apparent: the idea of Anthony Davis remaining with the New Orleans Pelicans for a very long time is seemingly becoming truer by the day.