Report: Davis trade may not be imminent
From NBA media reports
The official trade deadline is hours away, which puts the teams vying for Anthony Davis’ services up against a clock perhaps ticking louder than ever before. While the Los Angeles Lakers have made reportedly made more than a few offers for Davis, they also have not heard much back from the New Orleans Pelicans on said offers.
Marc Stein of The New York Times reports that the New York Knicks are considered to be on equal footing now with the Lakers in terms of teams Davis would consider signing a long-term deal with were he traded there. However, as Stein reports, it doesn’t look like Davis will be dealt before the 3 p.m. deadline.
Anthony Davis has the Knicks on equal footing with the Los Angeles Lakers as he considers what teams he would be willing to join on a long-term deal after securing a trade from the New Orleans Pelicans, according to two people with knowledge of Davis’s thinking.
A trade to any team did not appear imminent Wednesday night, as Thursday’s 3 p.m. trade deadline drew near. But Davis’s recent request to be traded did not include a demand that the move happen before the deadline, according to the people, who requested anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the situation publicly.
The Knicks are aware of Davis’s strong interest in playing in New York, according to the people. Either way, though, Davis is leaning toward playing out his current contract and becoming a free agent in July 2020 no matter where he is traded.
Davis has missed six games with a finger injury but was seeking to play in both of New Orleans’ games this week. The Pelicans, however, opted to hold Davis out while working on trades and have not yet disclosed whether they plan to allow Davis to return to the lineup if he is not traded this week. Davis, according to a person with knowledge of his thinking, would like to play out the season with the Pelicans if no trade materializes before the deadline, despite the fact that the injury risk would be significant for both player and team.
Per Stein, Davis intends to enter 2020 free agency rather than sign an extension, even if he’s traded to the Knicks, Lakers or one of his other preferred destinations (the LA Clippers and Milwaukee Bucks).
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported Thursday morning that the Lakers were “running low on hope” for landing Davis, in particular that the Pelicans will engage the Lakers in time to get a deal done. Earlier this week, the Lakers reportedly pulled out of trade talks with New Orleans over the Pelicans’ “outrageous” trade demands and because of their lack of initiative in the trade process.
Lakers president Magic Johnson has been waiting for the Pelicans to make counter-proposals, Wojnarowski reports, and Johnson threatened to end talks unless New Orleans GM Dell Demps was willing to engage in a back-and-forth on reaching a deal. Per Wojnarowski, the Lakers added two more players — youngsters Josh Hart and Ivica Zubac — to a trade package that included Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma, Lonzo Ball and two first-round picks.
Davis, who was available to play last night, did not do so in a 125-120 road win against the Chicago Bulls. Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry told reporters before the game that Davis will not play at least through the trade deadline. Davis had been sidelined with a sprained left index finger that he suffered Jan. 18 in Portland.
On Tuesday, Wojnarowski reported the Lakers were pessimistic about a Davis trade getting done before the Feb. 7 trade deadline. The Lakers made a new offer for Davis yesterday with a trade that would have included multiple young players, future first-round picks and more. However, the Lakers have failed to get the Pelicans to budge much in dealing Davis.
The Pelicans, as of Monday’s reports, were seeking an offer that would overwhelm them with future Draft picks. The long and short of it all, it seems, is the clock is ticking and the Pelicans do not seem to be in a big hurry to deal Davis before the Feb. 7 trade deadline. For the Pelicans, the “overwhelming” card in the deal would look like this: four first-round and second-round picks as part of the trade package as New Orleans wants to be compensated for trading Davis to the Lakers now (instead of in the summer).
Also on Monday, an extended list of teams Davis would be willing to re-sign with emerged. That list reportedly consists of the Lakers, Knicks, Bucks and Clippers.
Davis requested his trade through his agent, Rich Paul, on Jan. 28. In theory, he could sign a 5-year, $240 million super max extension this summer. Or, he can become a free agent in the summer of 2020 when his current deal runs out. Davis is averaging 29.3 points, 13.3 rebounds, 4.4 assists, 1.7 steals and 2.6 blocks per game this season.
A six-time All-Star, Davis was an All-NBA first team member in three of the last four seasons. He has made three All-Defensive teams in his career and is the Pelicans’ all-time leader in points scored, rebounds, blocks, field goals attempted and made and free throws attempted and made.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.