NBA superstar Anthony Davis requested a trade from the New Orleans Pelicans on Jan. 28 of this year. Since then, the whole situation regarding Davis’ relationship with the team and the approach of opposing teams making a move for him has been a “dumpster fire” to say the least.
Davis was dealt a hefty $50,000 fine soon after his request, for his agent, Rich Paul, undermining the NBA’s set rules in public trade requests. The trade deadline is long gone, meaning he is a member of the Pelicans for the rest of the season.
Leading up to the deadline, however, teams seem prepared to talk with New Orleans, the most notable teams being the Los Angeles Lakers and the Boston Celtics. As it stands now, it would be fair to assume that the Boston Celtics are the favorites to land Davis over the summer, but the Los Angeles Lakers have fairly high odds of their own.
Leading up to the deadline, the Lakers’ front office incessantly shot offers at New Orleans to acquire Davis. The most notable Lakers' offer, which was leaked by a writer of the LA Times, had the Lakers sending young stars Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma and Brandon Ingram, veterans Rajon Rondo, Lance Stephenson and Michael Beasley and two future first-round picks to New Orleans.
Many thought this offer was extremely generous, but the New Orleans front office held firm, for they believed they could get a stronger package from Boston in the offseason, with Demps having a notable infatuation regarding Jayson Tatum.
Lots of basketball fans were rather confused with New Orleans ignoring the Lakers’ generous offer, and it may have contributed to Demps’ firing just two days ago. Demps essentially turned away a very promising trio of players, multiple savvy veterans and multiple first-round picks because of what he expected Boston to offer this offseason.
Boston general manager Danny Ainge is known for being a mastermind negotiator, so he did promise Demps a package involving Tatum and other assets in the summer, knowing that Demps could possibly be out of a job by then. There is no doubt that this incessant trade talk about the Lakers’ young core hurt their chemistry and front office reception.
Ainge has a long-standing ill will towards not only their rival Lakers, but he certainly does not want to help out Lebron James, who has gave Boston heartache for years with his playoff performances.
As the speculation of Davis’ trade destination trails into the summer, two teams will be at the forefront, the Boston Celtics and the Los Angeles Lakers. These are the two teams with the most assets and in the best position to trade for Davis, and it does not hurt that Davis’ representatives have stated Davis’ willingness to sign long-term with both teams.
But do not be shocked if a sleeper team like the Los Angeles Clippers or the Milwaukee Bucks make a move to acquire Davis.