Trade talks regarding Anthony Davis seem to be heating up with the 2019 NBA Trade Deadline fast approaching. The Lakers seem to be in the driver’s seat to acquire the disgruntled star but the Pelicans want a league-wide auction to get the best deal possible.
To that end, it appears as though Davis has not quite given the league a Lakers or bust ultimatum. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Pelicans know of a “handful” of teams where Davis would theoretically be willing to re-sign:
Beyond the Lakers and Knicks, the Pelicans have been made aware of "a handful" of teams that Anthony Davis would be willing to sign long-term with upon a trade, league sources tell ESPN. Boston isn't included on that list.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 4, 2019
Woj notes that Davis would not be signing an extension this summer no matter where he goes, instead choosing to become a free agent in 2020 and sign a new contract. So any team trading for Davis would still play a season with the risk that he would bolt in the following summer.
Of course, this report could be a Pelicans leverage ploy to open up the market for Davis. The New York Times’ Marc Stein reported earlier that it was a one-horse race to acquire Davis before the deadline and that no other teams have been serious about offering much for the superstar. If that is the case, however, it is notable that the report still indicates Davis would not re-sign in Boston. It may be too late to open up those discussions given the numerous rumors about AD’s unwillingness to play for the Celtics long-term.
It could also be the Pelicans refusing to trade with the Lakers, forcing Davis to give them a list of teams he wishes to go to.
Depending on how the rest of the league reacts to this news, it could be an obstacle for the Lakers whose assets may not quite be enough for the Pelicans to be willing to trade their franchise icon to the team he seems to want.
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