The Boston Celtics will likely have interest in Anthony Davis if the New Orleans Pelicans star becomes available via trade this summer, and according to ESPN’s Zach Lowe, they can be expected to pursue him aggressively even if he won’t commit to Boston long-term.

“The Celtics want their chance, and if they get it, expect them to be ultra-aggressive even without any assurances from Davis that he will re-sign,” Lowe wrote in a lengthy piece on Thursday. “The Celtics are confident in the team and culture they have built under Brad Stevens.”

Davis has reportedly been the long-term plan for Boston ever since Danny Ainge couldn’t quite convince Kevin Durant to join the team in the summer of 2016. Thanks to a couple of smart draft picks – Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum – the Celtics have a combination of young talent and future picks that can likely beat any other offer, including anything the Los Angeles Lakers are able to put on the table.

The only question will be whether the Celtics are willing to pay a ransom for Davis without assurances he will re-sign as a free agent. If he leaves, the Celtics could find themselves in a nightmarish position – their future picks raided, and their young stars putting up big numbers elsewhere.

Without assurances from Davis, it’s worth asking whether Boston would pony up with its best assets. After all, they reportedly never offered Brown for Kawhi Leonard when the Spurs were looking at deals for their disgruntled star, opting to hang on to what they had while building for the future.

But Leonard’s situation was a little different. First, Leonard is a fraction of a tier below Davis as a star. Second, nobody was entirely certain how healthy Leonard actually was (“pretty healthy” was the answer, as it turns out).

Davis is different. He’s the player a team builds an entire four-year plan around, and putting him in Boston next to Kyrie Irving would turn the Celtics into one of the most entertaining, talented teams in the league – a reasonable gamble to make, even given the high stakes.

LAKERS: LeBron James was held out of the Lakers’ game against the Sacramento Kings on Thursday night with a groin injury, ending his consecutive games played streak at 156.

James was injured during the Lakers’ 127-101 victory over two-time defending NBA champion Golden State on Christmas when he slipped while going for a loose ball.

An MRI showed that James suffered a left groin strain rather than a tear, but no timetable has been set for his return. Lakers Coach Luke Walton said the team will take a cautious approach with the four-time MVP.

MAGIC: Orlando’s Terrence Ross has been fined $25,000 for throwing a ball into the stands following a game.

BULLS: Chicago signed guard Brandon Sampson to a two-way contract and waived guard Tyler Ulis. Sampson averaged 7.9 points in three seasons at LSU and went undrafted this year.