Despite Anthony Davis requesting a trade from the New Orleans Pelicans leading up to the 2018-19 NBA trade deadline, they ultimately did not honor his request.
While the Los Angeles Lakers made a ‘pretty attractive’ offer for Davis according to some within the Pelicans organization, they wanted to wait for the 2019 NBA Draft Lottery instead.
As the Pelicans waited three more months, they did land the No. 1 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. However, their potential trade partners did not fare well as the New York Knicks landed the No. 3 pick while the Boston Celtics only landed the No. 14 pick.
Although the Pelicans will most likely select Zion Williamson on June 20, Davis’ stance with them has reportedly not changed, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic:
The New Orleans Pelicans are now set up to be Zion Williamson’s franchise to lift, and No. 1 pick could ease potential trade of Anthony Davis. His stance on a trade has not changed, league sources tell @TheAthleticNBA @Stadium.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) May 15, 2019
While the Lakers moved up seven spots and have another attractive asset, the Pelicans reportedly are still not interested in trading Davis to them, according to Brian Windhorst of ESPN (H/T: Chris Montano of House of Highlights)
“From what I understand, the Pelicans are not interested in making a deal with the Los Angeles Lakers.”
As general manager Rob Pelinka will explore all options, it will be interesting to see if executive vice president of basketball operations David Griffin is willing to negotiate. While Griffin will try to persuade Davis to remain in New Orleans, the reality is he will likely lose him for nothing in 2020 NBA free agency.
With Davis and Griffin expected to meet soon in Los Angeles, the Lakers should have a better understanding of where they stand. If the Pelicans ultimately trade Davis elsewhere, Pelinka and company still have numerous options to significantly improve the roster.
As it currently stands, the Lakers have an unexpected top-four draft pick and $38 million in cap space. While they could simply add another prospect to their talented young core and sign strong role players, the goal to land a second All-Star player alongside LeBron James remains the same.
After a drama-filled first month of the offseason, the hope is the Lakers can stabilize themselves and build a championship contender for the 2019-20 NBA season and beyond.