In January 2019, Anthony Davis’ agent Rich Paul informed the New Orleans Pelicans that Davis was ready to leave the team and that he had no intention of resigning a long term contract extension. It wasn’t easy news for the organization to take, even being quoted as creating a ‘dumpster fire’ within the team.
A trade request was made, and one of the hottest names in the NBA become open to discussions. Davis wants to play for a team that wins consistently and can give him a shot at the championship. Although the Pelicans have been aware of Davis’ desires to leave for a while, no agreement was made before the trade deadline in February.
As the NBA Drafts beckon, the discussions over Davis’ future are once again opening up. The Toronto Raptor’s trade for Kawhi Leonard last season was so impactful that it has brought them within reach of an NBA Championship.
If there was any doubt that a single player could change the direction of a team, there isn’t anymore. Davis could have a similar impact if he finds himself with the Lakers or Knicks.
What Do Pelicans Want For The Trade?
Star players like Anthony Davis come at a high cost. According to an article in ESPN, Pelican’s executive vice president David Griffin has outlined a framework for the trade, and not surprisingly he’s asking for quite a lot of assets in demand.
The framework includes an All-Star player, a young player with All-Star potential, and two first-round draft picks. Griffin does have some flexibility. The better the player(s) offered, the softer the asks would be for the draft picks, or vice-versa.
There are already few teams that could meet these requirements, and it’s likely that the deal, at least as it stands, would have to involve multiple teams to make it possible.
Davis Enters Free Agency In 2020
To add a bit of risk factor to the deal, Anthony Davis will enter free agency in 2020. This means that whichever team he signs with, he could simply walk away from after one season. It would be a short term investment or a risk that he would stay on. This would make it more difficult for teams to part with their most precious players.
It’s a subject that Davis’ manager Rich Paul has not shied away from. He has made it really clear that Davis has a year left to play, but that after that he will definitely be a free agent. As yet, it is unclear which team will sign Davis, but whoever it is, they won’t necessarily hold on to him for too long.
Which Teams Could Sign Davis?
There have been several teams linked with negotiations and discussions around Davis, including the NY Knicks, LA Lakers, Brooklyn Nets, LA Clippers, and Boston Celtics. Of those, the field has now been narrowed down to a few teams that are expected to grab him, and one that is a clear favorite.
Boston Celtics have been mentioned a few times in the NBA trade rumors. They could put together a worthy package with players like Jayson Tatum and Gordon Hayward, along with two of their three first-round draft picks. Yet they cannot realistically trade for Davis until free agent Kyrie Irving makes a decision on his future with the team, and the time seems to be ticking for the trade.
The New York Knicks have been more strongly linked, and have been in vocal pursuit of Davis. Their trading game plan is under question now that Kevin Durant has suffered an Achilles injury, putting a question mark over where the free agent will go and whether he will stay with the Warriors.
This season for sure will affect the predictions for the following year, especially for bookmakers such as FOXBet, upcoming next fall to face a new NBA era.
Knicks have the number three draft to trade with, and a decent roster too, but they may not want to risk losing their assets in a repeat of the 2011 Carmelo Anthony trade.
The most likely team to secure a deal over Anthony Davis is the LA Lakers. They are reportedly furthest in the negotiations and are a preferred pick for Davis and his agent. Davis could be paired with LeBron with potentially devastating results.
Lakers are not favorites to land a top-level free agent, so a Davis trade makes a lot of sense. They also know that they are the team that Davis is likely to sign for when his free agency begins, giving extra leverage and value.