League sources expect Anthony Davis and his agent, Rich Paul of Klutch Sports, to inform the rest of the league that he only plans to sign an extension with the Lakers, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
That means Davis would be just a short-term rental for anyone else who tries to acquire him. He has a $28.75MM player option for the 2020/21 season and can become a free agent next summer.
The Pelicans won’t rush into a deal, Wojnarowski adds, writing that it will take an “overwhelming” offer to get Davis out of New Orleans before the February 7 trade deadline. The Lakers plan to try to reach that standard, with trade talks between the two teams expected to begin soon. L.A. is in position to offer a max contract in free agency this summer, but sources say the team would give that up to acquire Davis. The Lakers are willing to part with draft picks and some combination of young players Kyle Kuzma, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart and Lonzo Ball in their trade proposal.
The Celtics, who have been collecting assets in hopes of making a deal for a star, are reportedly among the teams willing to take the risk of trading for Davis without a guarantee of a long-term arrangement. Sources tell Wojnarowski that president of basketball operations Danny Ainge has been calling the Pelicans for more than a year to let them know of his interest in Davis. There is also a tight bond between Davis and Kyrie Irving, who would be virtually assured of re-signing in Boston if Davis becomes part of the team.
Although he doesn’t identify them, Wojnarowski adds that several other teams are considering a deal for Davis, even if it’s only for the rest of the season. They could use him to make a run at the title, then flip him for other assets this summer.