The franchise came to the conclusion that Davis wouldn’t seriously consider staying in Denver long-term. Had the Nuggets had more confidence in their ability to retain Davis past the 2019/20 season, they would have been more aggressive in pursuing a trade.
The Pelicans needed Jamal Murray to be in any Davis-to-Denver deal, which was something the Nuggets were not willing to accommodate. Including Michael Porter Jr. in the deal may have also been required. Singer writes that no team could value last year’s No. 14 overall pick as much as the Nuggets since they are the only franchise that has seen him play as a professional. The league is expected to get a full look at Porter in summer league this offseason.
The Lakers could top any offer from the Nuggets or most teams because they knew Davis would want to stay with the franchise long-term. Denver couldn’t risk giving up core players for Davis regardless of how high the ceiling on a Nikola Jokic-Davis one-year run would be.