With the NBA Finals potentially ending on Monday night in Toronto, the countdown to the draft and free agency is about to begin in full.
Among the biggest stories leading into the draft later this month is the potential for Anthony Davis to be traded, either with an agreement in place on draft night or the Pelicans waiting until free agency settles out. Either way, rumors heated up on Monday as a report from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski offered insight into what the Pelicans are looking to get out of a Davis deal, and why the three-team route might end up being the best option for a team looking to get a deal done.
The Lakers, Knicks, Nets, Clippers, and Celtics all sit at the top of most people’s lists of potential suitors for Davis, but the star has apparently focused his attention on two of them. Almost on cue, much like with what we saw around the trade deadline, the moment one report came out of the Pelicans camp, another emerged from the Davis camp, this time from The Athletic’s Shams Charania.
According to Charania, Davis is “focused” on getting himself on either the Knicks or Lakers, although Charania notes a new list of preferred destinations has not been given to David Griffin or the Pelicans. Also of note in Shams’ report is this nugget on the Celtics still being willing to be aggressive despite the possibility Davis leaves.
Several teams — including the Celtics — are aggressive about pursuing Davis understanding they would potentially lose him after one season, when he is set to become a free agent. The Celtics want to pursue Davis and believe in their roster with or without Kyrie Irving, league sources said.
This all seems to be part of the posturing for leverage from both sides. The reported packages the Pelicans are interested serve as pressure for teams to get their ducks in a row and figure out how to maybe involve others to give New Orleans what they want. Davis and Klutch Sports want to make sure the Pelicans, other teams, and fans know he still plans on going to the Knicks or Lakers in 2020 at the least.
We’ll have to wait and see whose leverage play wins out, but for now the source wars are heating up again in New Orleans.