Davis, who can become a free agent next summer, has not formally told Pelicans executive VP of basketball operations David Griffin that he has narrowed his list. Davis submitted a four-team list to the Pelicans in February that also included the Clippers and Bucks.
Griffin met with Davis and his agent, Rich Paul, late last month in an effort to convince Davis to remain with the Pelicans. However, Davis’ desire to be dealt remained unchanged and Griffin has accelerated trade talks.
Several teams have expressed an interest in trading for Davis, according to Charania, including the Lakers, Clippers, Knicks, Nets and Celtics. An ESPN report surfaced earlier on Monday that Griffin is willing to involve third parties in trade discussions in order to maximize the package New Orleans would receive.
Charania’s report suggests that Paul is attempting to steer those discussions toward the Lakers and Knicks. If those franchises know that Davis is willing to commit to them long-term, they obviously have more incentive to do everything they can to acquire the superstar big man.
Even so, other suitors — including the Celtics — are aggressively pursuing Davis despite not being one of his preferred teams. The Celtics are apparently willing to deal for Davis regardless of where Kyrie Irving ends up in free agency, Charania continues.
Griffin could hold onto Davis into next month with the hope of getting a desperate team that missed on its free agent targets to up the ante, Charania adds.