Report: Anthony Davis likely to tell teams he will only sign with Lakers
Anthony Davis informed the New Orleans Pelicans this week that he wants to be traded, and it is sounding more and more like he has a preferred destination in mind.
While Davis’ agent, Rich Paul, says the five-time All-Star has not given the Pelicans a wish list, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports that Davis and Paul are expected to inform teams the center prefers the Los Angeles Lakers and would not sign a long-term extension anywhere else. If Davis sticks to that, he would be a rental for any team that acquires him until he can become a free agent following the 2019-20 season.
But with a player as franchise-altering as Davis, that may not be enough to deter teams. Wojnarowski already reported on Monday that some teams are interested in acquiring Davis to chase a championship this year and potentially next before either flipping him to recoup assets or letting him walk in free agency. The Boston Celtics are one team that would likely make a run at Davis without assurances that he will sign an extension.
The Celtics appear to have a better package of draft picks and young players than any other team, but they cannot acquire Davis until this summer because of the “Rose Rule.” The rule allowed both Kyrie Irving and Davis sign contract extensions while playing under their rookie deals, and the Celtics have to wait until Irving’s current deal expires before they can acquire another player who signed a “Rose Rule” extension.
According to Wojnarowski, Celtics general manager Danny Ainge is “undeterred” by the idea of Davis not signing a long-term extension with the team. Davis is good friends with Irving, and it seems like he would be a lot more open to remaining in Boston if Irving re-signs with the Celtics.
The Pelicans are not in a rush to trade Davis, which makes sense given the position the Celtics are in. While the Lakers will almost certainly try to make a push to acquire Davis before the Feb. 7 trade deadline, waiting until Boston can get involved can only help New Orleans.