The Los Angeles Lakers and New York Knicks are preparing to make offers for New Orleans Pelicans superstar forward Anthony Davis, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
The Lakers’ brass had a meeting Monday morning in large part to coordinate the franchise’s plans, sources said.
Philadelphia, which could put together a fairly competitive offer for Davis, currently has no plans to pursue a deal, sources said. Rich Paul of Klutch Sports represents Davis and Ben Simmons, and a deal centered on swapping his clients is highly unlikely.
The 6-foot-10 All-Star desires to play in a big market that’s committed to winning, sources said.
Davis notified the Pelicans over the weekend that he would not sign the five-year, $240 million supermax extension over the summer and that he preferred to be traded, Paul told Yahoo Sports.
Davis informed teammates of his intentions before addressing the front office and none of his teammates was surprised, sources said.
Davis, who is sidelined with a fractured left index finger, is expected to make his return to the lineup as soon as Saturday, sources said.
New Orleans will not be pressured by the Feb. 7 trade deadline, sources said, but holding a disgruntled star against his will could prove to be detrimental in the locker room.
Initially, sources said, the objective was for Davis, 25, to pursue a trade during the summer.
But at 22-28, the Pelicans have the third-worst record in the Western Conference and signs of improvement are bleak. Davis has stated repeatedly that he wants to be in a winning situation that will give him a chance to compete for championships.
Regarding team preferences, Boston is not a top target for Davis, sources said. There’s a growing belief of uncertainty that Kyrie Irving will re-sign with Boston, sources said, even though he vowed to do so at the beginning of the season.
The Knicks have valuable trade chips in Kristaps Porzingis, rookie Kevin Knox and potentially the No. 1 overall pick in 2019.
With Boston, which has the best trade assets, unable to trade for Davis until the summer because Irving and Davis each have designated player rookie extensions, the Knicks may be the premier Eastern Conference threat to pull off the blockbuster.
If the Knicks are successful, it could boost their attempts to lure Kevin Durant over the summer, and they’d still be in position to snag Irving or Charlotte’s Kemba Walker.
Within a five-month period, Madison Square Garden could be home to a championship contender.
The Lakers’ package would almost have to include Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram and Kyle Kuzma along with other sweeteners and salary-cap fillers.
For the Lakers, it’s time to strike now. It’s becoming more and more apparent that acquiring a top-tier free agent in the summer might be too complicated.
There’s pressure to surround LeBron James with elite talent sooner rather than later. James and Davis share the same agent, making the Lakers the most convenient and logical option.
Those in NBA circles knew this day was coming. Now, we may get to see what it will take for teams to acquire Davis.
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