The Pelicans have been in the midst of Anthony Davis trade chatter for several months now, with most of that talk centering on New Orleans sending Davis to one team for a trove of either assets and/or young players.
However, a change may be afoot in that thinking for the Pelicans' new executive vice president of basketball operations, David Griffin. The Pelicans are reportedly open to multiteam trades for Davis as Griffin has started to provide potential suitors with the framework of the trade package he'd want for the star big man, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reports.
The New York Knicks, Brooklyn Nets, Los Angeles Lakers and LA Clippers are among the front offices inquiring New Orleans about Davis, Wojnarowski reports. The Boston Celtics have long been considered to be in the mix for Davis, but cannot realistically pursue Davis in trades until guard Kyrie Irving makes his future plans with the team known.
Other, non-preferred teams have been emboldened in pursuing Davis after seeing how the Toronto Raptors' pursuit of Kawhi Leonard has that franchise on the cusp of an NBA title tonight. Overall, Wojnarowski reports, Griffin hasn't sounded convinced that a team-to-team swap for Davis is likely to fulfill his wishes for the franchise in a post-Davis state.
While Griffin has offered no firm timetable on a trade taking place, he has indicated he prefers the acquisition of 2019 draft picks to take place before the June 20 event in Brooklyn, Wojnarowski reports. Overall, Griffin is pursuing a combination of assets that include an All-Star player, a young player who has All-Star potential and two first-round picks.
New Orleans has the No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 draft. Per Wojnarowski, the team wants to build around whomever it picks at that spot as well as Jrue Holiday, who was an All-Defensive second teamer this season.
Griffin met with Davis in Los Angeles at the end of May, having what was a reportedly "respectful" and "productive" conversation about his future in New Orleans. However, it was considered "highly unlikely" that Davis would change his mind about wanting to be traded.
Before that, Griffin reiterated his belief that he can convince Davis to stay put. Those comments came during a conference call to introduce newly hired GM Trajan Langdon, at which time Griffin also said he planned to talk with Davis and his agent, Rich Paul, in Los Angeles at some point soon.
Davis, 26, initially asked to be traded in late January, midway through his seventh season with the Pelicans. He holds a player option that will allow him to reach unrestricted free agency in the summer of 2020. The six-time All-Star has averaged 23.7 points, 10.5 rebounds and 2.4 blocks in 466 career games. The Pelicans have reached the playoffs just twice during his tenure, with one series victory.
Overall last season, Davis averaged 25.9 points, 12 rebounds, 3.9 assists, 1.6 steals and 2.4 blocks per game. He appeared in 56 games, a career-low, and saw downturns in his overall shooting (51.7 percent) and 3-point shooting (33.1 percent) from 2018-19. Following the Feb. 7 trade deadline, Davis never played more than 34 minutes in a game.
The disgruntled six-time All-Star, who missed his seventh straight game to close out the 2018-19 season with what the team has listed as back spasms, wore a T-shirt with the famous Looney Tunes sign off, “That’s All Folks,” written across the chest. As he walked down the tunnel toward the locker room after the game, he gave one fan a high-five.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.