Report: Pelicans don’t “feel pressure” to trade Anthony Davis before 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

New Orleans Pelicans big man Anthony Davis officially requested a trade via his agent, Rich Paul, on Monday sending the NBA into a whirlwind. Multiple teams will now try to acquire the superstar, including the Los Angeles Lakers who are among the favorites to land him.

Despite Davis’ trade request and unwillingness to sign a long-term extension this summer, the Pelicans have no need to trade the big man just yet. He is under contract through next season, giving the Pelicans ample time to search for the best deal.

In fact, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Pelicans are in no rush at all:

New Orleans plans to issue a statement later Monday, but officials are already privately expressing that the organization doesn’t feel pressure to move Davis before the Feb. 7 trade deadline.

That is predictable and probably smart from the Pelicans’ point of view. They can ensure more teams will get involved in the sweepstakes if they hold out longer. For example, the Boston Celtics, who many believe have the best potential package to move for AD, are unable to trade for him now unless they move Kyrie Irving due to a CBA provision preventing teams from having two players who were signed to designated player extensions.

If the Pelicans choose to wait until July to trade Davis, they can get the Celtics involved and see who gets the best pick in the 2019 NBA Draft and increase their leverage in trade negotiations.

The 2019 NBA trade deadline is on February 7th.

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