With the 2019 NBA Draft quickly approaching on June 20, the Los Angeles Lakers will have the No. 4 pick.
While the Lakers had just a 4.9% chance of moving into the top four and are extremely fortunate to land an unexpected asset, most are expecting general manager Rob Pelinka and company to trade it for a second All-Star player.
As a result, all of the attention has naturally been on Anthony Davis. In a recent meeting with New Orleans Pelicans executive vice president of basketball operations David Griffin, Davis did not change his trade request.
So far, Los Angeles and New York teams — the Clippers and Lakers, Knicks and Nets — have been among front offices inquiring with New Orleans, league sources said.
While there is no firm timetable, the Pelicans may prefer a Davis trade before the 2019 NBA Draft on June 20:
Griffin has offered teams no firm timetable on needing a completed deal, but he has indicated that he prefers the acquisition of 2019 draft picks be completed days prior to the June 20 event, in Brooklyn, league sources said. This gives the Pelicans a chance to meet and more closely examine draft candidates slotted in the vicinity of picks potentially traded to New Orleans.
At the 2018-19 NBA trade deadline, the Pelicans decided to wait in hopes of better offers from the Boston Celtics and New York Knicks. As Kyrie Irving is not expected to re-sign with the Celtics, the Knicks did not land the No. 1 pick.
Although there are conflicting reports about if the Pelicans are willing to trade with the Lakers, they can make a ‘pretty attractive’ offer. Some within the Pelicans reportedly like Brandon Ingram (if healthy) and Lonzo Ball’s fit alongside Jrue Holiday for the 2019-20 NBA season.
Heading into the 2019 NBA Draft, it appears the three extra months have helped the Lakers in Davis trade discussions.
As former president of basketball operations Magic Johnson reportedly offered the entire young core, draft picks, and salary cap relief, it will be interesting to see what Pelinka does in his first major decision running the team.
With a potential Davis trade, the Lakers can fulfill their goal of becoming a sustainable championship contender.