February 16, 2019
NBA Rumors: Charles Barkley Shares His Insight On Anthony Davis Trade After Conversation With Agent Rich Paul

Since the 2018 NBA offseason, New Orleans Pelicans star Anthony Davis has been frequently linked to the Los Angeles Lakers. The rumors that he would be joining the Lakers heated up when he hired Rich Paul of Klutch Sports as his new representative. Paul is also the agent and close friend of Lakers star LeBron James.

Before the February NBA trade deadline, Anthony Davis informed the Pelicans, through Rich Paul, that he has no intention of signing the massive contract extension that they are planning to offer next summer and expressed his desire to play for a team where he can consistently win and contend for the NBA championship. The Lakers tried to acquire Davis by offering their entire young core of Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma, Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart, and Ivica Zubac, but the Pelicans decided to wait for the summer of 2019 to trade the All-Star big man so teams like the Boston Celtics could join the bidding.

With the Celtics having a better collection of trade assets than the Lakers, most people believe that Anthony Davis is Boston-bound in the 2019 NBA offseason. However, in a recent interview, NBA Hall of Famer and TNT analyst Charles Barkley said that "at some point" Davis will be teaming with LeBron James in Los Angeles.

"At some point Anthony Davis is going to be with the Lakers," Barkley said, as transcribed by Ben Golliver of Washington Post via Twitter. "I said that three months ago when he signed with Klutch... The fix is in. I actually got a call from Rich Paul. I said, 'Dude, the fix is in. You know he's going to the Lakers.'... Once he signed with Klutch the fix was in."

The Celtics may succeed in acquiring Anthony Davis via trade next summer, but it remains a big question mark if he is interested in staying long-term in Boston. It is worth noting that the 25-year-old center/power forward has a player option on his current contract that will allow him to choose the team of his own choice as an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2020. When he demanded a trade from the Pelicans, Davis named the NBA teams where he will consider signing a new contract.

The Celtics aren't included on that list, but the Lakers are. Instead of chasing a max free agent next summer, the Lakers may consider preserving their salary cap space to sign Anthony Davis in the 2020 NBA free agency. However, before proceeding with their Plan B, the Lakers are expected to resume their trade negotiation with the Pelicans centered on Davis in the 2019 NBA offseason.