Despite being under contract through the 2019-20 season, Anthony Davis looked to take control of his future this year by demanding a trade. It came with news from agent Rich Paul that his client would not sign a five-year, $240 million supermax contract extension with the Pelicans during the offseason.
Anthony previously committed to the franchise in July 2015 when he signed an extension, leaving the Los Angeles Lakers, among other teams, to move ahead with other roster plans. Now the Lakers are in the thick of Davis’ future.
Speculation over Davis potentially looking to join L.A. increased last year when he signed on with Paul and Klutch Sports, who also represent LeBron James. Indications since making his trade demand were that Davis had the Lakers high on his wish list.
That still appears to hold true, but with the New York Knicks also a preferred landing spot for the five-time All-Star, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic:
Anthony Davis is focused on the Lakers as his top preferred destination, sources tell @TheAthleticNBA @WatchStadium. The Knicks are also as a preferred landing spot, and made push to New Orleans with offer around Kristaps Porzingis before the Dallas deal.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) February 1, 2019
A previous report suggested Davis’ representatives would inform teams interested in trading for him that they would be viewed as a one-year commitment. Essentially, Davis would remain the with team only until he could opt out and sign with the Lakers as a free agent.
It’s an approach Paul George took but it still did not deter the Oklahoma City Thunder from taking the gamble. That paid off in spades when George re-signed with the team last summer.
Having already watched one star slip from the grasp, the Lakers reportedly are aggressive in their pursuit to complete a trade for Davis before the Feb. 7 deadline.
As for the Knicks, they are now in position to sign two max-contract free agents this summer after trading Kristaps Porzingis to the Dallas Mavericks. Whether they have assets enticing enough — or that could trump the Lakers’ offer for Davis — isn’t so clear.
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.