For the first time since David Griffin was hired as the New Orleans Pelicans’ vice president of basketball operations, the organization has begun listening to calls about potential Anthony Davis trades, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.
Davis requested a trade from the organization that drafted him in February but a trade did not happen before the deadline. Griffin has made it abundantly clear since he was hired that his goal was to convince Davis to remain with the franchise. But after meeting with the superstar, it was reported that Davis was unlikely to change course.
Now, the Pelicans have begun listening to calls and the Los Angeles Lakers will almost certainly be at the forefront of bidding to get Davis. According to Charania, league executives believe the Lakers are among several teams with a competitive package to get the big man:
Across the NBA, rival executives believe the following teams will be able to compile the best packages: The Los Angeles Lakers, New York Knicks, Boston Celtics and Brooklyn Nets. Davis’ preferred destinations list of four teams includes the Lakers, Knicks and LA Clippers and that will embolden those teams to pursue him strongest of all.
The Lakers were the most aggressive team pursuing Davis in February but believed that the Pelicans were operating in bad faith by not wanting to trade him to the Lakers and leaking negotiations to the point of disabling the Lakers’ team morale. Nearly every key player besides LeBron James was mentioned in trade rumors.
Davis is a free agent in 2020 and will use that status to scare teams away from trading for him if he does not wish to go there. The Lakers seem to not have that issue especially due to Davis’ relationship with James through their agent, Rich Paul.
The Lakers will be hoping to sign a superstar free agent before trading for Davis to maximize their cap space and build a super team. However, they can begin the negotiation process now, including offering up the number four overall pick in the draft which they will have to use before moving it.