Just hours after news broke of what the Pelicans would seek in an Anthony Davis trade, another report helped detail the star forward's much narrower field of interest.
Davis is only focused on long-term plans with the Los Angeles Lakers and New York Knicks, according to a report from Shams Charania of The Athletic. In February, less than a month after his initial trade demand, Davis reportedly gave the team’s front office, including then-general manager Dell Demps, a four-team list of preferred destinations that included the Lakers, Knicks, Los Angeles Clippers and Milwaukee Bucks.
Davis' leanings were reported less than six hours after a dispatch from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski detailed what the Pelicans would be seeking in such a trade: The potential need for a multi-team deal in order to recoup their desired number and type of assets, including an All-Star caliber player, a young potential star and two first-round draft picks.
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According to the report, the Knicks, Nets, Lakers and Clippers have been the leading franchises inquiring about a trade package for the All-Star forward, with the Celtics also involved but facing a hurdle in the shape of Kyrie Irving's contract, which would require Boston to wait until the start of free agency on July 1 to officially acquire Davis.
Davis is still under contract until July 1, 2020, but the threat of him not re-signing with a team parting with such a large chunk of assets would be a major risk. That risk weighs most heavily on teams like the Celtics, Nets and Clippers, since they don't appear on Davis' list. It’s unclear how today’s news may affect those teams’ pursuit of one of the biggest stars on the market this offseason.
Celtics General Manager Danny Ainge did not address the Davis situation specifically, but made comments last week in answering questions about Irving's impending free agency that could offer insight into his stance on whether to dive into to the trade waters.
“There’s always risk in making deals,” Ainge said, according to a report from the Boston Globe. “We’re not afraid of risk. We made a risk by trading for Kyrie and, no matter what happens with Kyrie, I’ll never regret that. You just move on to the next deal.”
Irving's decision in free agency, where he is rumored to have interest in joining the Nets and Knicks, could also impact Boston's decision.
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Both the Knicks and Lakers own the best potential trade assets from this summer’s upcoming draft, picking up the No. 3 and No. 4 picks from the draft lottery last month. But neither team owns a true All-Star-type talent that the Pelicans reportedly covet. But the earlier report from ESPN stated Griffin would be willing to accept lesser assets if other parts of the deal, like a much better draft pick than those offered by other suitors, were included.
For the full report from The Athletic (subscription likely required), click here.
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