Monday was an eventful day for the Anthony Davis rumor mill, as news broke that Davis’ camp had provided the Pelicans with a list of four teams – the Lakers, Knicks, Clippers, and Bucks – with which he’d be willing to sign long-term. Around the same time, the Lakers reportedly increased their offer for Davis, proposing a deal that would give New Orleans young players, multiple first-round picks, and salary relief. However, the Pels continue to lean toward hanging onto Davis beyond the deadline.
That Lakers offer – which includes Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, two first-round picks, three veterans for salary-matching purposes, and the Lakers taking back Solomon Hill – is the strongest pitch L.A. has made for Davis. However, according to ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne, the Lakers have felt that their conversations with the Pelicans have been “one-sided,” and they’re becoming increasingly pessimistic that New Orleans will make a deal with them this week.
The Pelicans have yet to provide the Lakers with a counter-offer, but in order to seriously consider Davis to the Lakers this week they’d want to be compensated – or, more accurately, “overcompensated” – for passing up on the chance to see what the offseason would bring, reports ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. According to Woj, GM Dell Demps and the Pels are seeking more draft picks from the Lakers — they want a “historic” haul of draft assets that would include four first-rounders, along with multiple second-round picks.
Wojnarowski writes that the Pelicans believe any offer the Lakers make now will still be available to them during the offseason, and multiple rival GMs think that New Orleans may use L.A.’s final offer this week as a baseline for negotiations in the summer.
Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge has, of course, been urging the Pelicans to wait until the offseason, when the designated rookie rule restricting Boston from acquiring Davis will no longer apply. League sources tell Wojnarowski that the C’s have “promised to be aggressive” with their assets at that point as they pursue Davis.
According to Chris Mannix of SI.com, the Celtics have “refused to directly dangle” Jayson Tatum at this point, but the Pelicans have received the impression that nothing and no one would be off the table this summer in discussions with Boston. The Pelicans are “enamored” with Tatum, per Mannix, who suggests that Tatum’s franchise-player potential is higher than that of anyone in the Lakers’ offer. Acquiring a player with All-NBA potential in an AD trade is reportedly a goal for New Orleans.
Davis’ camp has repeatedly made it clear that Boston isn’t a preferred destination for the All-NBA big man, but that strong anti-Celtics stance may be posturing in an effort to push AD to the Lakers. Ainge is unconcerned that the C’s aren’t on Davis’ wish list, and there’s little that would dissuade him from aggressively pursuing AD in the offseason, Mannix writes.
Here are a few more Davis-related items to kick off Tuesday:
- While the Knicks are one of the teams on Davis’ wish list, they haven’t re-engaged the Pelicans since trading Kristaps Porzingis last week, sources tell Wojnarowski. Winning the draft lottery would be the Knicks’ best path to building a viable offer for Davis, which is one more reason why the Pelicans could be incentivized to wait until the offseason to make a move.
- Kentavious Caldwell-Pope has not been included in any of the Lakers‘ offers for Davis, since he has the ability to veto a trade and has shown no interest in going to the Pelicans, per Tania Ganguli and Brad Turner of The Los Angeles Times. Although the Lakers and KCP’s camp have been exploring possible destinations for the veteran wing, he appears unlikely to be moved this week, one source tells the Times duo.
- The Suns have reached out to the Pelicans and Lakers and let them know that they’d have interest in Lonzo Ball and would be open to joining a potential Davis trade as a third team, according to Ganguli and Turner. Ball’s father LaVar said on Monday that he wants to see his son land in Phoenix if he’s traded by the Lakers.
- If Davis remains in New Orleans through the deadline, there’s a “real possibility” that he and the Pelicans could agree to a limited playing schedule for the season’s final two months, according to Wojnarowski. That decision has yet to be made though.