Los Angeles reportedly emerged as one of Davis’ preferred trade destinations after he requested to be moved at the end of January.
Pelicans owner Gayle Benson is strongly opposed to sending their star player to the Lakers to play alongside LeBron James.
How opposed? ESPN reported Friday that “Benson has basically told Davis, ‘To the Lakers, over my dead body.’”
Los Angeles reportedly emerged as one of Davis’ preferred trade destinations after he requested to be moved at the end of January. The Lakers pursed a deal for the six-time All-Star before the trade deadline and reportedly made multiple offers, but those negotiations fell a part without a deal in place.
Davis has been adamant he doesn’t want to re-sign with New Orleans when he could opt out of his contract in the 2020 offseason. Several thought Davis would change his mind after the Pelicans surprisingly jumped up in the lottery earlier this week to secure the No. 1 pick.
The universal belief is that the Pelicans will selected former Duke standout Zion Williamson with that top pick in June’s draft, but that’s not enough to make Davis want to stay, according to The Athletic.
The Celtics and the Knicks are among the others that reportedly will explore trading for Davis this summer, and New Orleans is expected to once again consider moving him.
But new Pelicans VP of basketball operations David Griffin, who is in charge of managing Davis trade talks after the franchise fired general manager Dell Demps, expressed optimism in keeping Davis in New Orleans.
“There are a lot reasons for him to believe that this will be different,” Griffin said earlier this week (via NBA.com). “What it starts with is just us doing what we say we’re going to do, one step at a time. Over time, I think he’s going to see there is a trust level that he should have in us.
“I believe strongly he has always wanted to be part of the market, but, understandably, the kid wants to win.”
Davis, who averaged 25.9 points and 12 rebounds in 56 games during the regular season, led the Pelicans to a 33-49 record. New Orleans missed the playoffs for the third time in four seasons.