Yesterday’s media salvo regarding the Pelicans front office, Anthony Davis and the potential teams vying to trade for the All-Star forward seemed to press down the accelerator on trade talks.
But the team's Executive Vice President David Griffin did his best to pump the brakes Tuesday morning on a conference call with local media to introduce Swin Cash, the team’s recently hired vice president of basketball operations and team development.
When asked if he expected any franchise-altering moves before the NBA Draft on June 20, Griffin played coy and suggested it did not serve as a deadline or motivator.
“I don’t anticipate anything of major significance," Griffin said, "other than meeting with Zion and his family, but I never anticipate that."
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According to a report from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski on Monday, Griffin would like any trade for Davis that involves 2019 first-round draft picks -- which most alleged packages do -- to be finalized days in advance of the June 20 Draft, giving the team time to evaluate potential prospects they may select.
“I’m open-minded, and we all are at that point in which we act. And if things evolve in such a way regardless to Anthony Davis or another part of our team, we will, but we’re not in a hurry. There’s no time sensitivity, and that includes Anthony, whether he’s going to stay or not.
The signals are impossible to miss. The Anthony Davis saga has morphed into the Anthony Davis confrontation.
“There’s not a shot clock on anything.”
Griffin’s words confirm reports from The Athletic yesterday that Williamson, the presumptive No. 1 pick, and his family are scheduled to visit New Orleans this week to meet with several members of the Pelicans staff. The Duke freshman star is the first player to be rumored to have visited the team facility since the Pelicans won the top selection in the NBA Draft lottery.
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Hours after the lottery, Griffin and Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry met with Williamson and his family, as well as projected No. 2 pick Ja Morant. But the only two teams Davis is reportedly considering making long-term plans with, the New York Knicks and Los Angeles Lakers, own the No. 3 and No. 4 picks, respectively, in the upcoming Draft.
The Boston Celtics, another team rumored to be strongly in the mix in a trade for Davis, own the No. 14, 20 and 22-overall picks in the Draft, but face a difficult road to make a move for Davis before July 1 when free agency opens, due to the nature of Kyrie Irving’s contract.
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