All eyes are officially on the New Orleans Pelicans as star Anthony Davis informed the team that he won’t re-sign with them and wants to be traded.
Of course, the Los Angeles Lakers are expected to pursue him as their desire to acquire Davis is no secret. With the Boston Celtics unable to trade for him until the summer, the Lakers would prefer to deal for Davis before the Feb. 7 deadline.
Though, on top of Davis not due to reach free agency until possibly after the 2019-2020 season, the Pelicans are not in a rush to make a trade.
In a statement, the Pelicans made it clear they will move forward on their terms, and they also asked the NBA to enforce tampering rules:
This past weekend, Anthony Davis’ representatives informed us that Anthony does not wish to sign a contract extension with our team and subsequently has requested a trade. Although we are disappointed in this decision, our organization’s top priority is to bring an NBA championship to our city and fans and build our team for long-term success.
Relative to specific talks of a trade, we will do this on our terms and our timeline. One that makes the most sense for our team and it will not be dictated by those outside of our organization. We have also requested the League to strictly enforce the tampering rules associated with this transaction.
While not expressly stating it, the Pelicans appear to have the Lakers in mind with their petitioning of the NBA. LeBron James rankled several teams with his remarks last month about wanting to play with Davis and other stars.
That the Pelicans wouldn’t rush to complete a trade within the next 10 days is certainly understandable. They may feel the Celtics are capable of submitting the best offer, and therefore are willing to wait until the summer.
Additionally, pitting more teams against each other will also likely lead to better offers coming in.
It sounds as if the pressure will be on the Lakers to try and get a deal done as quickly as possible. The team is reportedly determined to acquire Davis and there are rumors about what the starting point for such a deal would be. It would obviously cost the Lakers a chunk of their young core, but a player of Davis’ caliber calls for that.
But if the Pelicans aren’t willing to do a trade then there’s nothing the Lakers can do about it but wait until the offseason and try again.
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