Sources cautioned that nothing is imminent, but said the clubs are having discussions.
The Bobcats have been searching for a power forward, and the 6-9 Davis could be their man. The Celtics, meanwhile, have been longing for a backup point guard, and Augustin, who's fallen out of favor with Charlotte coach Larry Brown, would be more than adequate.
A straight-up trade would not work because Davis is a base-year compensation player, so other players would have to be involved to meet the financial requirements. That could be a sticking point in the deal.
While teams don't typically trade big for small, Boston is a bit aggravated with Davis, who's had a few off-the-court problems this season. Most notably, he missed the first 27 games of the season after breaking his thumb in an early morning scuffle with a friend.
The Celtics have been rumored to be shopping Ray Allen, and while league sources insist the word "shopping'' is too strong, they say the shooting guard is definitely available. Few believe he'll be traded before the Feb. 18 deadline, though, because the Celtics aren't likely to get a better player in return.
This is one of many trade rumors sure to swirl as the Feb. 18 deadline nears. Let's break it down:
Does it work?: Utilizing the ESPN NBA Trade Machine, this deal won't work straight up, but one version that does come back successful is Davis and Shelden Williams for Augustin. While Davis' base salary for this season is $3 million, his trade value is sliced in half due to base year compensation. When coupled with Williams' $825,497, it's enough to swap for Augustin's $2.37 million deal. (Bill Simmons points out another version that works).
Does it make sense?: Our gut says this one doesn't make sense for Boston. Do the Celtics need a backup point guard? Yes. But the team also just went 28 games without Marquis Daniels, who should resume primary ball-handling responsibilities off the bench as his surgically-repaired left thumb heals. If the team was desperate for a backup ball-handler, it would seem they would have pursued this sort of swap sooner. What's more, Boston seemingly needs Davis' depth in the frontcourt given that Williams has been dropped from the rotation (nine straight DNPs) and Rasheed Wallace continues to be ineffective. Losing Davis would elevate Brian Scalabrine to primary backup at the four spot.
Final thoughts: Despite some frustrating actions this season (off-court fight before season started; obscene comment to fan in Detroit), Davis appears to be coming on strong lately. He's getting more comfortable as his right thumb heals and he's added great energy off the bench (more than once recently he's hauled in multiple offensive rebounds on a possession). Davis talked at length Monday about his desire to increase his role and return to the type of indispensable presence he was when Kevin Garnett was injured in last year's postseason (more on that Wednesday). We just don't see this as a move that improves the Celtics moving forward. They can find more economical ways to fill the void at backup point guard if forced to look outside their locker room.