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#pounditThursday, January 26, 2023

Gregg Popovich trying to keep Anthony Davis away from Lakers?

Gregg Popovich

There were numerous reports over the summer that the San Antonio Spurs had no intention of trading Kawhi Leonard to the Los Angeles Lakers no matter what the circumstances, and they may be hoping the New Orleans Pelicans follow the same rule with Anthony Davis.

Stephen A. Smith said on ESPN’s “First Take” Tuesday morning that he has been told Spurs coach Gregg Popovich reached out to Pelicans GM Dell Demps to urge him to not cave to the Lakers in trade talks surrounding Davis.

“I’ve been told that one of the people Dell Demps has communicated with is Gregg Popovich — not for trade talks or anything, but Popovich has said, ‘Don’t cave to the Los Angeles Lakers, like we didn’t. Don’t think for one second that you have to be compelled to move Anthony Davis now. You can wait,'” Smith said. “That’s what he’s been telling Dell Demps.”

Smith followed up his own report by saying he’s unsure if it’s true, so it doesn’t sound like he has the utmost confidence in his sources.

It sounds like Davis is planning to tell interested teams he is only willing to sign a long-term extension with the Lakers, but that may not hurt his trade value all that much. The Boston Celtics can probably offer the best package for Davis, and they are said to be among several teams who are willing to trade for Davis without assurances that he will sign a new deal. The Celtics cannot trade for Davis until the summer because they already acquired one “Rose Rule” contract player in Kyrie Irving, so it would make the most sense for New Orleans to wait things out until all the bidders can get involved.


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