With the 2019 NBA Draft quickly approaching on June 20, the New Orleans Pelicans have provided teams information about what it will take to trade for Anthony Davis.
While it is unclear if any team will be their demands, the Pelicans are seeking an All-Star player, a talented young prospect, and two first round draft picks.
Although the Pelicans will do what is best for them, Davis’ list of preferred destinations has changed from four teams to just two nearly five months later after his trade request.
As a result, the Los Angeles Lakers are viewed as the ‘leader in the clubhouse,’ according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
“The Lakers because they have the leverage of knowing that Anthony Davis wants to sign with them in free agency in 2020 and the rest of the league knows that.”
Although the Pelicans have no specific timeline, they ideally would like to complete a trade by June 20 to give themselves time, according to Wojnarowski:
“Hypothetically, New Orleans would love to have a deal in place by this coming weekend and have a little bit of time — three or four days — before next Thursday.”
Along with the Lakers, Davis would re-sign with the New York Knicks. While there are conflicting reports, the idea of the Pelicans selecting Zion Williamson with the No. 1 pick and RJ Barrett with the No. 3 pick could be enticing.
As the Davis trade to the Lakers will likely require multiple teams, they are in a good position. By the Pelicans not trading Davis on Feb. 7, the Lakers still have their young core and benefited by landing the No. 4 pick.
With the Pelicans hiring executive vice president of basketball operations David Griffin, some within the organization reportedly have admitted the Lakers made a ‘pretty attractive’ offer for Davis back in February.
When former president of basketball operations Magic Johnson was negotiating, he reportedly offered the entire young core, draft picks, and salary cap relief for Davis.
With general manager Rob Pelinka running the team’s front office now, it marks his first major decision. As teams may be unwilling to give up assets for a one-year rental, the Lakers may not have to make a ‘godfather’ offer this time.