Teams across the NBA are reportedly going into motion to pursue superstar forward Anthony Davis after his agent jumpstarted the process by making his trade request public Monday. The Pelicans plan to take their time in fielding offers and deciding how to move on from their franchise player, according to ESPN, which leaves open the chance of the team retaining him beyond the Feb. 7 trade deadline.
The Lakers will likely be the frontrunner in this process given Davis’ apparent preference for playing there in the near future. Davis and his agent, Rich Paul, reportedly plan to tell teams that the Lakers are his No. 1 choice and he doesn’t plan to sign an extension with anyone else before the summer of 2020, when he’s set to become a free agent.
Other teams may not want to offer as much in trade talks with the Pelicans if they’re concerned Davis will bolt for Los Angeles after one season. Still, that won’t stop them from trying to make the move, based on reports from around the league.
The Celtics, arguably the team that could offer the most to the Pelicans if a trade can wait until the summer, are “undeterred” by Davis’ insistence that he’d like to go to the Lakers, according to ESPN, which says that several other contenders are also weighing making offers.
The New York Times reports that the Knicks plan on “making themselves a factor” in the Davis talks.
Even though it is likely that the Knicks' strongest offer for Anthony Davis would come in May once their draft position is known, one source with knowledge of the team's thinking confirms that the Knicks are intent on making themselves a factor in the Davis Sweepstakes— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) January 29, 2019
The Bucks, who could potentially pair Davis with Giannis Antetokounmpo to create one of the most unique tandems of all-time, are also reportedly involved.
And as the Sun-Times’ Joe Cowley wrote Monday, the Bulls would be smart to get involved in these talks, even if it means putting their best young players on the table for the former local high school star. (Then again, one report says Davis doesn’t want to play in Chicago.)
Davis, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, will command major attention until there’s a resolution to the situation. The 25-year-old is on his way to his sixth straight All-Star appearance and fourth straight All-NBA honor. He’s averaging 29.3 pounds and 13.3 rebounds per game while playing high-level defense. Teams are already starting to line up to try to get him, and it’s not difficult to see why.