The Lakers “have been determined” to trade for Davis, but the Knicks have attractive trade chips, including 2019’s No. 1 overall draft pick.
The Lakers would have to part with multiple young players to acquire Anthony Davis, but one of those key pieces isn’t keen on landing in New Orleans. Meanwhile, Eastern Conference teams are trying to figure out their offers, while the Pelicans insist they won’t be rushed.
Here are the latest Anthony Davis trade rumors:
— The Lakers’ offer to the Pelicans for the 25-year-old star “has to start” with guard Lonzo Ball, forward Kyle Kuzma, center Ivica Zubac and a future first-round draft pick, according to a report from The Los Angeles Times, which cites unidentified league sources.
Hearing from sources if Lakers want Anthony Davis, who has requested a trade, LA has to start the deal with Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, Ivica Zubac, No. 1 pick.
— Brad Turner (@BA_Turner) January 28, 2019
Ball, however, would prefer to be sent to a third team that “doesn’t have an established point guard” if he’s include in a deal for Davis, according to The Athletic.
Sources: Should Lakers/Pelicans trade talks pick up, point guard Lonzo Ball’s camp prefers Ball to be moved to a third team that doesn’t have an established point guard.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) January 29, 2019
Davis will not sign an extension with New Orleans and wants to be traded, agent Rich Paul told ESPN. The Lakers “have been determined” to trade for him, according to ESPN, but the center has “not given the Pelicans a list of preferred destinations,” the Los Angeles Times reported Monday.
“Anthony has nothing but respect for the organization that he’s currently with and will be with until they decide that they want to honor the request that we’ve made,” Paul told the Times. “So at the end of the day I think it’s about what’s best for both Anthony and the organization going forward. This gives direction. Everyone has a clear understanding, and we go from there.”
Update: In an ESPN report posted Tuesday, this bomb was dropped as well.
“Los Angeles Lakers president Magic Johnson and general manager Rob Pelinka plan to make an aggressive push to acquire Davis before the Feb. 7 deadline, armed with confidence that Davis wants to play for the Lakers and would sign an extension, league sources said.
“The Lakers are expected to talk with the Pelicans soon, league sources said.”
— The Pelicans say they won’t be rushed into any deal. They’re willing to listen to all offers but “won’t make a deal before next Thursday’s NBA trade deadline unless they’re offered an overwhelming package for the franchise’s star,” ESPN reported, citing unidentified league sources.
In the same report, ESPN says Paul may try to “depress” interest in Davis by anyone but the Lakers:
“(M)ultiple league sources expect the agent and star to soon deliver word throughout the league that Davis’ preferred destination is the Lakers and he’ll become a rental player until 2020 with a trade anywhere else.
“It would be an attempt to depress offers in the marketplace, a way to perhaps make the Lakers’ trade package more appealing.”
— A primary target of a move to depress interest might be the Celtics, who when the Davis news broke on Monday immediately became the subject of conjecture. Yahoo Sports reports that Davis isn’t particularly interested in Boston as a potential destination:
“Regarding team preferences, Boston is not a top target for Davis, sources said. There’s a growing belief of uncertainty that Kyrie Irving will re-sign with Boston, sources said, even though he vowed to do so at the beginning of the season.”
The Celtics, because of the NBA’s Rose Rule, can’t make any deal for Davis official until Irving’s contract expires July 1.
— The Celtics forced delay, compounded by the uncertainty of whether Irving will even re-sign, pushes Boston to the back burner and potentially makes the Knicks the most attractive landing spot in the Eastern Conference from a trade perspective.
Notes Yahoo Sports: The Knicks have valuable trade chips in Kristaps Porzingis, rookie Kevin Knox and potentially the No. 1 overall pick in 2019.
Davis has missed the Pelicans last four games with a finger injury. He’s averaging 29.3 points and 13.3 rebounds this season.
Ball sprained his ankle last week and is expected to miss four-to-six weeks while Kuzma is tallying 19.1 points per game this season. Zubac was selected by the Lakers in the second round of the 2016 draft.
The Lakers will host the 76ers on Tuesday. They’ll enter that matchup with a 26-24 record.