Anthony Davis decided that waiting for the 2018-19 NBA season to wrap up wasn’t the direction he wanted to go when it came to his future. Instead, the New Orleans Pelicans star made it known on Monday that he would not re-sign longterm with the team and in turn, requested a trade out of town.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski first reported the details of the situation. The news came from Rich Paul, who represents Davis, and cited the All-Star forward’s desire to be moved to a team where he can consistently compete for a championship.
“Anthony wants to be traded to a team that allows him a chance to win consistently and compete for a championship,” Paul told ESPN. “Anthony wanted to be honest and clear with his intentions and that’s the reason for informing them of this decision now. That’s in the best interests of both Anthony’s and the organization’s future.”
The news isn’t all that surprising and most believed this would happen at some point sooner than later. Following the trade request, things have escalated quickly in terms of the rumors that are swirling, but there hasn’t been anything in terms of a formal offer revealed publicly.
We’re going to take a look at the latest on the rumors relating to the expected trade of Davis, including potential landing spots and possible trade packages that have come to light. There’s no better place to start than with the Los Angeles Lakers, who were immediately linked to the 25-year-old, and have been in months leading up to this.
Reported Cost for Lakers to Acquire Anthony Davis
Almost immediately after the trade request from Davis came to light, reports about the Lakers began coming out. Specifically, Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times revealed that it would require a package that started with Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, Ivica Zubac and a first-round pick for Davis.
There’s an obvious reason to believe that this asking price is somewhat of a high starting demand, but it’s likely not out of the question that it could wind up being realistic. The Lakers haven’t shied away from their interest in Davis and it’s believed they’ll make an all-out push for the star prior to the deadline.
The situation involving the Lakers heated up even more when Wojnarowski and ESPN reported that Davis and Paul are expected to inform the league of his intention to land with the Lakers. In turn, making him a rental player for any other team.
… multiple league sources expect the agent and star to soon deliver word throughout the league that Davis’ preferred destination is the Lakers and he’ll become a rental player until 2020 with a trade anywhere else.
New York Knicks Preparing a Big Push for Davis
The New York Knicks aren’t willing to let this opportunity pass by them without at least a major effort to swing a deal for Davis it seems. While the team was almost immediately mentioned as a potential partner, there’s a lot to sort out. As Marc Stein of The New York Times revealed, though, the team is “intent” on making themselves a factor in trade talks.
You’d have to envision that a selling point for the Knicks trade package would be their first-round pick this year, which could potentially result in the chance to land Duke’s Zion Williamson. They do have a few other intriguing pieces, but the Knicks deal would more likely be a draft pick-heavy offer.
Boston Celtics Not Shying Away Due to Unique Situation
Although there is no guarantee Kyrie Irving will re-sign this summer with the Boston Celtics, it hasn’t changed the approach Danny Ainge is taking. As ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski detailed, Boston has been calling about Davis for “the past year-plus” and have been preparing a trade package for him.
“GM Danny Ainge is undeterred on making a trade for Davis, even without an assurance that he would agree to an extension with the Celtics, league sources said. Boston has been calling New Orleans for the past year-plus on Davis, and has gathered multiple first-round picks and young players to include in a package for him.”
One big factor is that the Celtics have to wait until July 1 to push for a deal to acquire Davis. This stems from the fact that he and Irving are both under the designated rookie extension, meaning they can’t be on the team’s roster together currently.
For Boston, it seems to simply be a waiting game. They need to hope that the Pelicans don’t jump at one of the other offers before the offseason rolls around.
Denver Nuggets & Portland Trail Blazers as Dark Horse Options
Although the Lakers, Knicks and Celtics have drawn the most attention in relation to a Davis trade, they aren’t the only ones many analysts believe could be in the mix. As The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor first reported, there’s chatter among front-office executives that the Denver Nuggets have the assets to get a deal done if they opt to jump in.
“But the Nuggets are considered by front-office executives as the off-the-radar team that actually has the assets to complete a deal, should they choose to enter the sweepstakes.” O’Connor details.
Even beyond that, Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders reported the Portland Trail Blazers have emerged as a dark horse to acquire Davis as well, per Hoop Central. The big question becomes what the Blazers would offer for Davis, and more specifically whether it would involve splitting up Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum. It’s safe to assume that a deal from Portland would almost certainly have to include one of the two.