Heading into the 2019 NBA Draft, the Anthony Davis rumors are expected to heat up after he did not change his stance on the trade request from nearly five months ago.
After Davis recently met with New Orleans Pelicans executive vice president of basketball operations David Griffin in Los Angeles, they have begun listening to trade offers for the 26-year-old now leading up to June 20.
At the 2018-19 NBA trade deadline, Davis reportedly had four teams listed as his preferred destinations.
However, Davis reportedly has narrowed his list and is focused on the Los Angeles Lakers and New York Knicks now, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic:
Davis is now focused on the Lakers and Knicks as the two desired long-term destinations, league sources told The Athletic. Davis has not given Griffin or the Pelicans a new formal list. He will be a free agent in 2020.
For the Pelicans, they are looking for a certain package from the Lakers or any other interested teams for Davis, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
Griffin is pursuing a combination of assets that include an All-Star player, a young player with All-Star potential and two first-round picks, league sources said. Those wants are on a sliding scale. For example, the better the player, the softer the asks on the draft picks — and vice versa.
While it is unclear if any team will meet Griffin’s demands, there is finally some progress regarding Davis’ trade request. By focusing on the Lakers and Knicks, teams may be unwilling to trade numerous assets for a one-year rental.
As Kyrie Irving is not expected to re-sign with the Boston Celtics, it appears to be a two-team race for Davis. For the Lakers, they actually benefited from the Pelicans keeping him as they landed the No. 4 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft.
With former president of basketball operations Magic Johnson no longer around, this is general manager Rob Pelinka’s first major decision running the team’s front office. As Johnson offered the entire young core, draft picks, and salary cap relief, it will be interesting to see what Pelinka does in hopes of landing a second All-Star player.