Anthony Davis and the New Orleans Pelicans appeared to be approaching a crossroads for months on end, and that came to a head Monday morning with news agent Rich Paul has officially presented the team with a trade request.
Davis will be eligible to receive a five-year, $240 million supermax contract extension this summer, which Paul said his client will not sign. The Los Angeles Lakers had long been mentioned as a potential suitor for Davis, and that speculation is again rising to the forefront.
Davis joining Klutch Sports last summer and thus sharing an agent with LeBron James was viewed by many as the first step to making his way to Los Angeles. The two then had dinner following the Pelicans’ game at Staples Center last month.
With the Feb. 7 trade deadline rapidly approaching, it’s believed the Lakers would need to assemble a package that includes Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, Ivica Zubac and a draft pick if they are to acquire Davis, per Brad Turner of the L.A. Times:
Hearing from sources if Lakers want Anthony Davis, who has requested a trade, LA has to start the deal with Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, Ivica Zubac, No. 1 pick.
— Brad Turner (@BA_Turner) January 28, 2019
The Lakers to this point have resisted breaking up their young core but indications were if they did so, it would need to be for a player of Davis’ caliber. While Ball and Kuzma have previously been mentioned in speculation, that Zubac is coveted in a potential blockbuster trade is a testament to his development this season.
If the Lakers aren’t able to coax the Pelicans into a trade for Davis before the deadline, it will open the door for the Boston Celtics this summer. Boston cannot acquire Davis this season unless including Kyrie Irving in a trade because of the Rose Rule.
Come the offseason, however, the Celtics would be cleared of that hurdle, and would be considered by many as the favorite to trade for Davis because of a wealth of assets.
Reminder: Vivid Seats is the Official Ticket Reseller of LakersNation.com. New Customers use “LAKERSNATION” (all CAPS) in the Vivid Seats App on your phone and get 10% off any Lakers home game ticket order for the remainder of the season.