Earlier today, the NBA world went into meltdown upon hearing reports that Anthony Davis will not be committing to the New Orleans Pelicans long-term. Whilst it was news that many anticipated would come to light eventually, it was not expected so soon as the summer of 2019 seemed to be the time-frame presumed. Obviously, the Lakers will be near the front of the queue, waiting to pounce on a trade for the Pelicans superstar.
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN broke the story, stating that agent Rich Paul of Klutch Sports has informed the Pelicans that Davis has no desire to re-sign with the team and has requested a trade.
This will undoubtedly put the majority of the league on notice as they hope to entice the 6’10 power forward out of Kentucky. Whilst it has not been directly indicated, the general consensus is that Davis’ preferred destination may be in Los Angeles. Sharing the same agent as LeBron James adds fuel to this speculation. Although, both pairing up would reach the expectations of challenging at the very top of the NBA, that Davis desires.
The Boston Celtics, who most see as being the biggest threat to the Lakers, would be out of the race until the summer due to league rules prohibiting Davis’ and Kyrie Irving’s contract being on the same roster, as a result of the “Rose Rule”. However, Irving does become a free agent on July 1st, which would allow the Celtics to pursue Davis then. The race is now on for the Lakers to aggressively push a deal through before the February 7th trade deadline.
Marc Stein of The New York Times has reported on the topic of whether the Pelicans would honor Davis’ request as the trade deadline fast approaches. Reporting that agent Rich Paul has said: “They haven’t said much, but we wanted to do the right thing to let them know by the deadline so they could do what’s best for the organization going forward.”
It is being suggested that if the Lakers want Davis, they would have to start the deal with Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, Ivica Zubac and a 1st round pick, at the very least. The young core will be on the edge of their seats between now and the deadline. As it is going to take a huge deal including multiple assets to force the Pelicans to part-ways with the 5-time All-Star in a hurry.
By Matt Evans (@mattyyyevans)