For the Los Angeles Lakers and New Orleans Pelicans, a lot has changed since the 2018-19 NBA trade deadline when it comes to Anthony Davis.
With the Pelicans not trading Davis in February, both teams have benefited nearly four months later. As the Pelicans landed the No. 1 pick, the Lakers moved up seven spots and landed the No. 4 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft.
As the Lakers have another potential trade asset, Pelicans executive vice president of basketball operations David Griffin has been trying to convince Davis to remain in New Orleans for the 2019-20 NBA season and beyond.
Despite the opportunity to play with Zion Williamson, Davis’ trade request did not change at the time, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic:
The New Orleans Pelicans are now set up to be Zion Williamson’s franchise to lift, and No. 1 pick could ease potential trade of Anthony Davis. His stance on a trade has not changed, league sources tell @TheAthleticNBA @Stadium.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) May 15, 2019
As Davis and Griffin finally met in Los Angeles, the latter has not engaged in trade talks with teams yet, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
New Orleans could have anxious trade suitors with the Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers, Boston Celtics and New York Knicks should Griffin engage trade talks, but so far that hasn’t happened, sources said. Griffin has been determined to make a case to Davis over time.
While Griffin is highly regarded around the league, it appears unlikely he can change Davis’ mind. As the team’s No. 1 pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, the Pelicans have only made the playoffs twice in his seven seasons.
Although Davis was committed to the Pelicans, they have made questionable decisions during this stretch and he is giving them an opportunity to not lose him for nothing in 2020 free agency. While Davis has been criticized over the last four months, he is trying to take control of the prime years of his career.
Although it is unclear if the meeting changed anything at this time, the Lakers are expected to re-engage with the Pelicans about Davis. Since both teams have undergone some changes in the front office, it will be interesting to see if New Orleans is more willing to trade him to Los Angeles this time.
In terms of competition, the Boston Celtics and New York Knicks did not fare as well and their potential offers are not as strong as initially thought.
UPDATE (May 29, 2019 at 2:11 PM PST): Davis’ stance on trade request has ‘highly unlikely’ changed after meeting with Griffin in Los Angeles to discuss his vision for Pelicans, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic:
While New Orleans Pelicans executive Vice President David Griffin and All-Star Anthony Davis‘ agent Rich Paul will continue discussions, it’s highly unlikely Davis‘ stance changes on trade, league sources tell @TheAthleticNBA @Stadium.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) May 29, 2019