Despite the Los Angeles Lakers having the No. 4 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, all of the attention has shifted back to Anthony Davis and the New Orleans Pelicans now.
Following a recent meeting in Los Angeles, executive vice president of basketball operations David Griffin reportedly has begun listening to Davis trade offers and provided teams more information about what it will ultimately take.
And nearly five months since the 2018-19 NBA trade deadline, the Lakers are in a good position with the young core and adding an unexpected top-four draft pick.
Although Davis had four teams on his preferred destinations list, he recently narrowed it down to the Lakers and New York Knicks, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic:
Davis is now focused on the Lakers and Knicks as the two desired long-term destinations, league sources told The Athletic. Davis has not given Griffin or the Pelicans a new formal list. He will be a free agent in 2020.
As the Boston Celtics are interested in Davis, Klutch Sports agent Rich Paul issued a warning about his client being a one-year rental, according to S.L. Price of Sports Illustrated:
“They can trade for him, but it’ll be for one year. I mean: If the Celtics traded for Anthony Davis, we would go there and we would abide by our contractual [obligations] and we would go into free agency in 2020. I’ve stated that to them. But in the event that he decides to walk away and you give away assets? Don’t blame Rich Paul.”
As Kevin Durant’s Achilles injury could completely change free agency, Kyrie Irving was not expected to re-sign with the Celtics. Because of this development, the Celtics may be unwilling to trade their assets for a one-year rental.
Nearly five months later, the Pelicans are quickly losing leverage in discussions with the Lakers. While the Celtics and Knicks could have improved on their trade offers, they were not as fortunate at the 2019 NBA Draft Lottery.
As the Pelicans did not accept former president of basketball operations Magic Johnson’s ‘godfather’ offer, all of the attention is on general manager Rob Pelinka. In Pelinka’s first major decision running the team’s front office, this is an opportunity for him to show what he is capable of in helping the Lakers return to championship contention.