Disgruntled New Orleans Pelicans All-Star Anthony Davis, who expressed interest in getting traded to the Milwaukee Bucks, LA Lakers, LA Clippers, and New York Knicks, recently narrowed down his trade choices to the Lakers and Knicks.
The 2019 NBA Draft occurs on June 20 so any deal involving draft picks must happen within the next week. The Pelicans said they were shopping Davis for no less than a pair of first round draft picks.
Davis, 26, has one more year remaining on his contract. The Pelicans drafted him out of Kentucky with the first overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft. AD’s agent, Rich Paul, initially demanded the Pelicans trade his client before last season’s trade deadline. Alas, all hell broke loose. The Pelicans refused to trade him to the Lakers to become LeBron James’ sidekick. The Pelicans held pat and AD remained in New Orleans.
The Pelicans hit the NBA Draft Lottery when they acquired the #1 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. They Pels won the Zion Williamson sweepstakes. New executive VP David Griffin sat down with AD and his agent to discuss the possibility of AD remaining in New Orleans. Even the prospect of playing along Zion could not keep AD in the Big Easy. He asked Griffin to send him to the Knicks or Lakers.
The Pelicans recently hired Trajan Landon as their new general manager. Both Langdon and David Griffin suggested that the Pelicans were also open to multi-team trades involving the Lakers or Knicks.
The Boston Celtics badly wanted Anthony Davis, but could not negotiate until the season ended. AD flat out said he would not sign a contract with the team. Would Danny Ainge trade the farm to acquire AD for a one-and-done year? It worked well with Kawhi Leonard and the Toronto Raptors, but the Celtics have their own internal issues as well.
Lesser of Two Evils
Which franchise is in worst shape right now? The Knicks or the Lakers?
Forbes valued the Knicks as the most-valuable franchise in the NBA worth $4 billion. Fans loathe their billionaire team owner James Dolan, who randomly dropped a hint that he’d consider selling the Knicks for no less than $5 billion. The Knicks tanked all season in hopes of landing Zion, but they only got the third pick in the draft.
Meanwhile, out in Hollywood the Lakers have become their own trainwreck of a reality show with plenty of in-house bickering and fearmongering. The Lakers organization is under turmoil while different circles compete for power and the attention of owner Jeanie Buss.
The Knicks considered trading the #3 pick to the Atlanta Hawks, but they would love to package their lottery pick with a couple of young players and future picks to acquire AD.
The Knicks have two spots available to sign max free agent contracts. Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving are both at the top of their list. However, the LA Clippers and Brooklyn Nets are trying to lure away Kyrie Irving. Perhaps fans at MSG next season will get to see the AD and KD show?