On the eve of the NBA trade deadline, as major deals are announced on a seemingly hourly basis, one player who remains untraded is the player most often mentioned in rumors this year — the New Orleans Pelicans’ Anthony Davis.
With indications that Davis is unlikely to be traded until the offseason, attention is turning to which teams Davis is likely to agree to commit to long-term. One report last week listed four teams – the Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers, New York Knicks, and Milwaukee Bucks – that Davis was willing to sign with long-term.
Now, a report says that Davis is equally interested in two of those teams.
Davis “has the Knicks on equal footing with the Lakers in terms of teams he is interested in signing with long-term,” reporter Marc Stein of the New York Times reported on Twitter Wednesday. In another tweet, Stein, citing a source, added that Davis is “adamant” that he will not sign long-term with the Boston Celtics and also that he will play for the rest of this season with New Orleans if he’s not traded rather than sit out.
The Lakers are the team most often mentioned as a Davis suitor, but their talks with New Orleans have not led to a deal so far, with the Lakers going so far as to pull out of talks as of Tuesday. That report from the Los Angeles Times stated that the Lakers had offered six players — Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, Ivica Zubac, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope — as well as two draft picks for Davis, but New Orleans rejected the deal. The Pelicans had reportedly asked for more draft choices.
Just as we saw with the Sixers-Clippers trade, the teams that make the most noise aren’t always the ones that get deals done. There could be a sleeper team in our midst.@KevinOConnorNBA: https://t.co/K19WrQi6MY— The Ringer (@ringer) February 6, 2019
The Knicks cleared two maximum salary slots last week when they traded Kristaps Porzingis to Dallas, which they could use to sign free agents while trading existing assets — including a potential high pick in this year’s draft — for Davis. However, New York has been highly unsuccessful in attracting high-level free agents for most of the last two decades.
Meanwhile, the Athletic‘s Sam Amick reported that the Celtics are willing to trade young swingman Jayson Tatum — who is considered a better player than anyone the Lakers have offered — as a centerpiece for a Davis trade, which would take place in the summer despite Davis’ reported refusal to sign with Boston. Amick’s piece positioned the Davis trade talks as yet another battle between longtime rivals in the Lakers and Celtics, with the executives in charge of the two teams, Magic Johnson and Danny Ainge, having faced each other as players with the teams in NBA Finals series throughout the 1980s.