NBA Rumors: Latest Buzz on Possible Anthony Davis Trade and Cavaliers

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistOctober 30, 2018

New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis (23) celebrates after they defeated the Brooklyn Nets by two points in an NBA basketball game in New Orleans, Friday, Oct. 26, 2018. The Pelicans won 117-115. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Gerald Herbert/Associated Press

The NBA trade deadline isn't until Feb. 7, but there are already rumors circulating around the league as teams attempt to position themselves in the early playoff race.

The season has already seen Jimmy Butler-related drama for the Minnesota Timberwolves, Tyronn Lue fired as the head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers and some whispers regarding the future of New Orleans Pelicans big man Anthony Davis in addition to the head-turning displays the league's best players put on every night.

With that in mind, here is the latest buzz surrounding Davis and the Cavaliers.


Anthony Davis in the Lakers Future?

Davis is under contract with the Pelicans at least through the 2019-20 campaign with a player option for 2020-21 on his contract.

However, Mark Heisler of the Orange County Register reported "with a huge free-agent summer coming in 2019—last summer's was quiet in comparison with only a few major stars available—insiders think Davis will force a trade, making him the prize of a megastar list that potentially includes Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard, Kyrie Irving, Klay Thompson and Jimmy Butler."

Heisler went on to note the Los Angeles Lakers "are considered the early favorites with Davis seeming to lean toward teaming up with LeBron James."

James has reached the last eight NBA Finals, which would be a drastic change for Davis considering he has not made it past the second round of the playoffs since New Orleans drafted him with the No. 1 pick in 2012.

There is already a connection between the two seeing how Davis signed with Klutch Sports in September, which is the agency that also represents James.

Heisler quoted an Eastern Conference general manager who asked "why else did he do it?" when speculating that Davis chose Klutch Sports in an effort to increase his chances at eventually joining the Lakers.

The Western Conference is loaded with contenders, but the idea of James playing with Davis is a daunting one. Davis is a five-time All-Star, three-time All-NBA selection, three-time block champion and three-time All-Defensive selection who is only 25 with his best years potentially ahead of him.

He is also not a big man who would clog the lane for James' drives because of his ability to extend his arsenal to the outside, and he could work in formidable pick-and-roll situations with the King. Davis could also protect the rim and take some of the defensive pressure off the veteran as he ages.

From the Lakers' perspective, Davis would immediately make them a championship contender and give them a younger star to build around in the future seeing how James turns 34 in December.

It would also position Los Angeles to take full advantage of a championship window if Durant leaves the modern-dynasty Golden State Warriors for free agency this coming offseason.


Reported "Disconnect" in Cleveland

The Cavaliers reached the last four NBA Finals, but it took all of six games for things to become a mess after James' departure.

Shams Charania of Stadium and The Athletic reported there was a "clear disconnect between Tyronn Lue, owner Dan Gilbert and GM Koby Altman" after the general manager met with veteran players and informed them they would lose playing time to younger pieces such as Collin Sexton, Larry Nance Jr. and Cedi Osman.

Charania noted veterans such as JR Smith and Kyle Korver became "emotional," although Lue played them anyway after they "fought" their way into additional playing time.

However, the Cavaliers announced they fired Lue and named Larry Drew the interim coach following an 0-6 start.

Even the interim coach announcement underscored the divide within the organization, as Drew said he is just the "voice" of the team and not the interim coach, per Joe Vardon of The Athletic. Drew wants the assurances of a long-term deal before he accepts the position in what appears to be a rebuilding process.

It wasn't long ago that Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love were seen as the ones who could keep the Cavaliers competitive if James eventually left, but Cleveland traded Irving to the Boston Celtics before the 2017-18 campaign. What's more, Love is dealing with a toe injury, and Cleveland's immediate outlook is bleak after a disastrous start.

The reported disconnect just adds to the negative headlines.