At the 2018-19 NBA trade deadline, the Los Angeles Lakers attempted to acquire Anthony Davis following his request from the New Orleans Pelicans.
While the Pelicans ultimately wanted to wait until the 2019 NBA Draft for potentially better offers from the Boston Celtics and the New York Knicks, the Lakers actually benefited by waiting three months and landing the No. 4 pick.
In Davis’ recent meeting with executive vice president of basketball operations David Griffin in Los Angeles, his trade request had not changed.
Now, Griffin and the Pelicans have ‘begun listening’ to Davis trade offers heading into June 20, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic:
As teams continue placing calls into New Orleans, Griffin has begun listening to teams and their inquiries on Davis, league sources told The Athletic. Previously, the Pelicans had been trying to pitch Davis to stay — and now they are at least open to hearing people out.
As for the best trade packages for Griffin and the Pelicans, rival executives have included the Lakers, Knicks, Celtics, and Brooklyn Nets:
Across the NBA, rival executives believe the following teams will be able to compile the best packages: The Los Angeles Lakers, New York Knicks, Boston Celtics and Brooklyn Nets. Davis’ preferred destinations list of four teams includes the Lakers, Knicks and LA Clippers and that will embolden those teams to pursue him strongest of all.
Three months since Davis’ trade request, this is not a surprising development. While Griffin is well-respected and tried to convince the 26-year-old to stay in New Orleans, they will lose him for nothing in next year’s free agency.
As it currently stands, some within the Pelicans acknowledge the Lakers do have ‘good assets’ in a potential Davis offer. While these trade rumors were a major factor in derailing the 2018-19 NBA season, it will be interesting to see how the young core carry themselves after going through it the first time.
After rebuilding through the NBA Draft for five seasons, it would be difficult to trade the young core. However, as the potential second All-Star player alongside LeBron James, Davis fulfills the team’s short- and long-term goals.
With former president of basketball operations Magic Johnson no longer around to offer the entire young core and draft picks to the Pelicans, this is general manager Rob Pelinka’s first major decision running the front office.