With the 2019 NBA Draft and the coming offseason fast approaching, New Orleans Pelicans forward/center Anthony Davis has reportedly narrowed down his list of potential destinations to two teams — the Los Angeles Lakers and New York Knicks.
According to a report from The Athletic‘s Shams Charania published on Monday (via Silver Screen and Roll), Davis is “now focused” on the Lakers and Knicks as the two teams that he would prefer to join for the long term. This comes about four months after the 26-year-old big man gave the Pelicans a list of four teams that he would be most interested in signing with, including the Lakers, Knicks, Los Angeles Clippers, and Milwaukee Bucks.
Further citing unnamed league sources, Charania also wrote that there are a number of teams that are currently interested in trading for Davis, including the aforementioned Los Angeles teams, as well as the Knicks, Boston Celtics, and Brooklyn Nets. The Celtics were named as one specific team that’s determined to land the All-Star big man, regardless whether they are able to re-sign point guard Kyrie Irving or not.
“Several teams — including the Celtics — are aggressive about pursuing Davis understanding they would potentially lose him after one season, when he is set to become a free agent,” Charania explained.
As of this writing, Davis has yet to officially provide the Pelicans with his updated list of preferred destinations.
The new report on Anthony Davis comes shortly after ESPN‘s Adrian Wojnarowski provided an update on the superstar’s trade request and the assets the Pelicans may ask in return. Citing his own league sources, Wojnarowski named the same teams Charania mentioned as Davis’ top suitors and noted that Pelicans executive vice president of basketball operations David Griffin is looking for a trade package that includes an All-Star, a “young player with All-Star potential,” and a pair of future first-round picks.
“Those wants are on a sliding scale,” Wojnarowski added. “For example, the better the player, the softer the requests on the draft picks — and vice versa.”
Should the Lakers successfully trade for Davis after repeated failures to acquire him before the February trade deadline, the deal would give LeBron James a second superstar to team up with, though it could also force the team to trade away some of the members of their young core, such as Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma, and/or Lonzo Ball. As for the Knicks, who finished the 2018-19 season with a league-worst 15-67 record, landing Davis could potentially give the team three top-tier players heading into the 2019-20 season, assuming the team is able to sign Irving and Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant in free agency, as widely rumored.