Last week, the latest update on the Anthony Davis situation was that he and his agent, Rich Paul, met with New Orleans Pelicans VP of Basketball Operations David Griffin to see what the next step would be for both sides. Reports were amicable enough, but it didn’t seem like much had changed.
Tuesday morning, Shams Charania of The Athletic reported that New Orleans is fielding offers for Davis, tacitly acknowledging that, despite the meeting, they don’t think they can stop him from wanting out:
While the sit-down on Wednesday was said to have been respectful and productive, Davis’ stance regarding his desire for a trade is highly unlikely to change, league sources have said. As teams continue placing calls into New Orleans, Griffin has begun listening to teams and their inquiries on Davis, league sources told The Athletic. Previously, the Pelicans had been trying to pitch Davis to stay — and now they are at least open to hearing people out.
This is an important first step for teams hoping to acquire Davis this summer, and the Los Angeles Lakers seem at (or at least near) the head of that list:
Between now and the draft, teams will continue placing calls into the Pelicans. They already have been, and Griffin has started to listen, sources said. Griffin has the option of keeping Davis until the February trade deadline, if not all season, but the fact that Davis’ stance remains firm means the same thing now as it would later.
Across the NBA, rival executives believe the following teams will be able to compile the best packages: The Los Angeles Lakers, New York Knicks, Boston Celtics and Brooklyn Nets. Davis’ preferred destinations list of four teams includes the Lakers, Knicks and LA Clippers and that will embolden those teams to pursue him strongest of all.
Davis is handling this situation differently than he and his representation did during last season, based on the handling of these leaks. That we are hearing that it is New Orleans now taking calls seems to indicate his camp is letting Griffin and his team handle this as best they can. Given how things went at the trade deadline, this is a welcome change.
We’ll see what all this means moving forward, but for now, the situation is unfolding at a much more manageable pace for all involved. Whether or not the Lakers can take advantage is going to be fascinating to keep an eye on as we approach the 2019 NBA Draft, free agency and beyond.