Report: Anthony Davis has Lakers, Knicks on “equal footing” as preferred destinations, will not sign extension anywhere

Anthony Davis
Nov 16, 2018; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis (23) brings the ball up court against New York Knicks forward Noah Vonleh (32) in the second half at Smoothie King Center. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

The Anthony Davis trade talks have died down with reports that the Los Angeles Lakers have pulled out of negotiations for the star big man. However, a new twist has appeared in the weeks-long saga.

According to Marc Stein of the New York Times, Davis has the Lakers and Knicks on “equal footing” as preferred destinations should he be traded. However, that does not mean he would sign an extension this summer with either team:

The Knicks reportedly reached out to the Pelicans about a trade that would have swapped Kristaps Porzingis with Davis and were rebuffed. Porzingis has since been traded to the Mavericks.

New York, which has ample cap space to pursue two max free agents in the offseason, probably does not have the assets necessary to obtain Davis now. However, they are among the teams most likely to secure the number one pick in the 2019 NBA Draft which will almost certainly turn into Duke stud Zion Williamson. That may be the most valuable asset the Pelicans could realistically obtain.

As for Davis’ decision not to sign an extension, that is not shocking in the least. Davis serves to maximize his earnings if he plays out his contract until 2020 and signs a new one then. That also gives him time to look at the outlook of his team and the league and make a decision about his destination.

It being reported, however, may convince some teams (such as the Boston Celtics) to be more risky in attaining Davis, knowing that he may not be as fixated on the Lakers as previously thought.

The trade deadline is at noon PST on Thursday.

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