The NBA’s February 2019 trade deadline is still more than a month away and New Orleans Pelicans superstar Anthony Davis won’t be a free agent until the summer of 2020 at the very earliest. However, the first-team All-NBA big man has been the subject of a plethora of trade rumors over the past few months, including a number that have linked him to the Los Angeles Lakers. The latest such rumor suggests that Davis had met with the Lakers’ four-time league MVP, LeBron James, for a postgame dinner after both teams faced off at the Staples Center on Friday.
Prior to the above report, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski wrote this week that a number of unnamed NBA general managers have complained to Pelicans GM Dell Demps, claiming that the league has been endorsing James’s previous comments about Davis’s possible move to the Lakers being “amazing” and “incredible.” As noted by Yahoo Sports‘ Chris Haynes, James’s remarks were seen by these team officials as an example of tampering, though it didn’t take long for LeBron to shut the executives down, as he told reporters after the Lakers’ 112-104 win over the Pelicans on Friday night that they “can’t control [him] at all” and that he wasn’t doing anything illegal.
With the above distractions out of the way and the Pelicans staying overnight in Los Angeles ahead of their road game against the Sacramento Kings, LeBron James reportedly met up with Anthony Davis for what Haynes described as a “postgame dinner” but didn’t elaborate much further.
“If Davis desires to be a member of the Lakers, it’s only a matter of time before he’s eventually sporting the purple and gold. Davis is in complete control of his destiny, and it may lead him directly to Southern California,” Haynes wrote.
This development came just days after James was spotted with Houston Rockets forward Carmelo Anthony after a similar dinner meeting, and while TMZ Sports also revealed few specifics about that earlier meeting, the publication speculated that there might have been some “shop talk,” or recruiting attempts, discussed that night.
Although it’s likely his name will keep popping up in trade rumors during the months to follow, Anthony Davis recently downplayed those reports in an interview with ESPN’s Zach Lowe, as he explained that he wants to focus on his current goal of helping the Pelicans win more games.
“I don’t really care [about the rumors]. Obviously, it’s cool to hear any high-caliber player say they want to play with me. But my job is to turn this team around. If we’re 15-17, that means I’m not doing my job,” Davis said, as quoted by Bleacher Report.
Following Friday night’s game, the Los Angeles Lakers are now at fourth place in the tightly contested Western Conference with a 19-13 win-loss record. The New Orleans Pelicans, meanwhile, fell further back to 13th out of 15 teams, as their loss to Los Angeles dropped them to 15-18 and one-half game ahead of the 14th-place Minnesota Timberwolves. Davis is currently averaging 28.1 points, 12.6 rebounds, 4.7 assists, and 2.7 blocks per game for the Pelicans.