The NBA trade deadline is approaching and the manager of New Orleans Pelicans is still evaluating the trade of their franchise player Anthony Davis.
Davis requested to be traded at the end of January. According to several sources, Davis wanted to play in a franchise which had better chance to win the championship and a location in a big city.
Averaging 29.3 points and 13.3 rebounds this season, Davis is arguably one of the best forwards in the league. 29.3 points per game ranks second among all players, and 13.3 rebounds per game is top five in the league.
Davis’ trade request shocked the league, and almost every team was interested in trading for him. However, only a handful of teams fit Davis’ preference and had enough properties to bargain.
Strong contenders include the Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers, New York Knicks and Boston Celtics. Among these teams, the Celtics could not trade for Davis unless they gave up their franchise player Kyrie Irving because both Irving and Davis signed their contracts under the “Rose Rule,” and each team could only have one player under this rule.
As for the Knicks, they previously made a blockbuster deal to send their young core player Kristaps Porziņģis to the Dallas Mavericks. Porziņģis could have attracted the Pelicans, but now the Knicks are not likely to have enough properties to make a deal for Davis.
The Clippers have no interest in trading for Davis this season, according to sources, as they made a deal to land Toronto Raptors star Kawhi Leonard in the off-season. The Lakers are thus the only team that possess a real opportunity to seal the deal before the trade deadline.
According to ESPN’s reporter Adrian Wojnarowski, Magic Johnson, the president of the Lakers, “was determined to obtain Davis.” Moreover, the agent of Davis is Rich Paul, who is also the agent of the Lakers star LeBron James.
On Feb. 2, Johnson contacted the Pelicans. According to Wojnarowski, Johnson offered two of the Lakers’ young core, Lonzo Ball and Kyle Kuzma, veterans Rajon Rondo and Michael Beasley, along with a first-round pick. According to L.A. Times’ reporter Brad Turner, Johnson also provided other trade offers that included 2016’s second overall pick forward Brandon Ingram.
However, the Pelicans countered these offers and asked for more young core players and first-round picks. The Pelicans also attempted to include Solomon Hill in the trade to help increase their cap room in the following summer. Hill has two years of contract remaining with 12 million per year, and he only averages four points per game this season.
On Feb. 5, which was two days before the trade deadline, the Lakers agreed to the Pelicans’ demand. According to Wojnarowski, the Lakers included almost every young core player in the offer, agreed to help release the cap room of the Pelicans and provided two first-round picks.
The Pelicans still wanted more. They countered the Lakers’ offer again and tried to obtain at least four first-round picks. Johnson and the Lakers pulled out of Davis’ trade because of the “outrageous” request by the Pelicans.
The clock is ticking, and many sources were stating different opinions on the Lakers’ offer in the Pelicans after Johnson pulled out of the trade. Nevertheless, the drama will come to an end on Thursday when the NBA terminates the transfer market.