New Orleans Pelicans big man Anthony Davis would strongly prefer to go to one of two teams. While it was initially believed Davis was considering four clubs, he reportedly has cut that list to just the Los Angeles Lakers and the New York Knicks, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.
The 26-year-old Davis has made his desire to be traded clear for some time now. While there was some thought the Pelicans securing the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft would change Davis’ mind, that’s not the case.
In February, Davis told the Pelicans he preferred to be traded to the Knicks, Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers or Milwaukee Bucks. That list has now been amended, but Davis has not formally told the Pelicans about that yet, according to Charania.
While the Pelicans can send Davis anywhere, his upcoming free agency gives him some leverage to dictate his final destination. Teams that aren’t on Davis’ list will be more hesitant to send the Pelicans strong offers knowing he’ll leave after just one season.
That might not deter other teams from going all-in, though. According to Charania, “several teams” are interesting in pursing Davis even if he’s a one-year player. Charania names the Boston Celtics among those clubs.
At 26, Davis is one of the best players in the NBA. He averaged 25.9 points and 12 rebounds per game with the Pelicans last season. He’s made the All-Star team six straight seasons, and has been named to the All-NBA team three times throughout his career.
While giving up a ton of assets to acquire a player on a one-year deal might seem foolish, teams have been inspired by the impact Kawhi Leonard has had on the Toronto Raptors. In his first — and possibly only — year with the club, Leonard has led the Raptors to a 3-1 lead in the NBA Finals.
Davis can have the same impact on his new team.
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