From the day that it became public that Anthony Davis‘ agent had told the Pelicans the All-NBA big man would not re-sign with the team and wanted a trade, I have reported at NBC my sources have said the Pelicans were in no rush to make a trade. Particularly with the Lakers. For a variety of reasons ranging from wanting Boston and other teams involved in the bidding to not wanting to give in to pressure tactics to help the biggest brand in the NBA form a super team. That has not changed.
Another report echoing those comments came out Monday night, the same day there more talks between the Lakers’ Magic Johnson and the Pelicans’ GM Dell Demps. From Adrian Wojnarowski and Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.
What do the Pelicans want? How about four first-round picks, plus players.
While there is some “small market not going to be forced into anything by powerful agent/big market” thing going on, my sources say the biggest issue is they don’t love the Lakers’ young players. Los Angeles has reportedly offered Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma and some expiring contract veterans (Rajon Rondo, Michael Beasley), plus a couple first-round picks for Davis and the bad contract of Solomon Hill. The Pelicans want a future multiple time All-Star/All-NBA level player back, and they do not see that in the Lakers’ offer.
Boston has that guy in Jayson Tatum, although whether they will put him in a trade is complicated (and could in part depend on what Kyrie Irving decides to do this summer). Boston’s ultimate plan remains to pair Davis and Irving, but the path to that is much tougher than it seemed just a few weeks ago.
Davis reportedly will sign an extension if traded to Milwaukee or the Los Angeles Clippers as well, but those teams are not actively bidding for him. Another surprise suitor could jump in the mix but there is little talk of that right now.
Whatever happens with Davis, expect it to drag out past the NBA Draft Lottery at least, and maybe into July. Davis will get traded — maybe even to the Lakers. Just not by Thursday (the trade deadline).