Earlier today a report came out from Adrian Wojnarowski/ESPN that David Griffin and the New Orleans Pelicans have started to let teams know of their preferred trade frameworks with the intention of possibly getting a deal done before the 2019 NBA Draft. Those teams that were inquiring with the Pelicans about the details of those frameworks were the Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers, New York Knicks, and the Brooklyn Nets.
A new report has now come out from Shams Charania and The Athletic that Anthony Davis’s list of preferred teams includes only two of those aforementioned teams:
Davis is now focused on the Lakers and Knicks as the two desired long-term destinations, league sources told The Athletic. Davis has not given Griffin or the Pelicans a new formal list. He will be a free agent in 2020.
This list is narrowed down from Davis’s list of teams in February, which included the Lakers, Knicks, Clippers, and Milwaukee Bucks.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 10, 2019
This is especially important when you consider the last sentence in that quote. As Davis is eligible for free agency in 2020, he could very well leave whatever team that he is traded to if he doesn’t want to stay there long-term. It’s basically the exact scenario that the Toronto Raptors have with Kawhi Leonard right now. It’s a definite gamble, and if the report is true, it gives the Lakers and Knicks far less risk than a team like the Clippers or Nets.
It should also be noted that in addition to the the four teams first mentioned in ESPN’s report, The Athletic reports that the Boston Celtics have also expressed interest in trading for Davis. They’re widely considered to have the some of the best assets for a Davis trade, in addition to the four teams mentioned above. In the early morning ESPN report, Wojnarowski mentioned that the Celtics are interested, but must take Kyrie Irving’s free agency into consideration first before submitting a substantial offer.
With the two reports coming out within the same day, all signs point to trade talks ramping up. It’s also obvious within the report that a lot hinges on the 2019 NBA Draft, as all rumored teams would presumably be trading one of their picks within the draft. David Griffin and the Pelicans would want to have full control of whatever first round pick they receive, so that they can get the exact guy they want.
The 2019 NBA Draft is on June 20th. Stay up-to-date for all Anthony Davis reports here at Lakers Outsiders before then.