Report: Lakers are Anthony Davis’ preferred destination, pushing to complete trade by deadline

Anthony Davis
December 21, 2018; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) during a stoppage in play with New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis (23) in the foreground during the first half at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers seem to be inching closer to acquiring Anthony Davis, who requested a trade from the Pelicans early Monday morning. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the team is pushing to make a trade before the February 7th deadline:

Los Angeles Lakers president Magic Johnson and GM Rob Pelinka are planning to make an aggressive push to acquire Davis prior to the Feb. 7 trade deadline, armed with confidence that Davis wants to play for the Lakers and would sign an extension, league sources said.

The Lakers are expected to talk with the Pelicans soon, league sources said.

According to Woj, people around the league believe that Davis’ preferred destination is the Lakers and that he would be a rental for any other team ahead of his 2020 free agency. Woj reports that Davis would sign an extension with the Lakers.

The Pelicans, meanwhile, are reportedly remaining patient with the belief that the Lakers’ best offer would still be available in July. At that point, the Boston Celtics (who have been the favorites to land Davis for quite some time) would be able to trade for the superstar as Kyrie Irving’s contract would be expired.

The Lakers, though, now hold leverage in trade negotiations as teams like the Raptors, Bucks and Knicks (suitors reported by The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor) may shy away from giving away their best offers without a guarantee that Davis would re-sign.

The Lakers are reportedly willing to give away their flexibility to sign a max free agent in July to acquire Davis in season.

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