Windhorst: Pelicans Not Interested in Trading Anthony Davis Amid Lakers Rumors

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistDecember 19, 2018

New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis signals against the Detroit Pistons in the second half of an NBA basketball game in Detroit, Sunday, Dec. 9, 2018. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
Paul Sancya/Associated Press

The New Orleans Pelicans reportedly aren't interested in trading superstar center Anthony Davis.

According to ESPN.com's Brian Windhorst, the Pels are instead engaged in trade talks aimed toward improving the supporting cast around Davis.

Speculation regarding a Davis-to-Los Angeles Lakers deal picked up steam Tuesday when LeBron James said it would be "amazing" and "incredible" if the Lakers could find a way to land the five-time All-Star, per ESPN.com's Dave McMenamin.

Davis, 25, has one year remaining on his contract with a $28.8 million player option for 2020-21 that he almost certainly won't exercise.

Despite Davis' importance to the Pelicans, trade buzz has surrounded him for well over a year given the uncertainty about whether he will re-sign.

The Lakers have been mentioned as a logical fit since James would benefit from another star to play alongside. In September, Davis switched representation from Thad Foucher to Rich Paul of Klutch Sports, who is LeBron's agent as well.

Windhorst noted that if Davis wants to play for the Lakers, asking for a trade now would be a smart move—before the Boston Celtics (who have a ton of draft capital and young players) are able to bid for his services.

The C's are not allowed to trade for two "designated" players at once, and they already have Kyrie Irving.

The Lakers have some quality youngsters of their own, though, including Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma, Lonzo Ball and Josh Hart.

New Orleans is in a difficult spot since there is so much uncertainty surrounding Davis.

While re-signing him is clearly the preference, waiting around too long could damage his trade value and force the Pels to take a lesser package if Davis doesn't want to stay with the organization.

The Pelicans reached the second round of the playoffs last season, and although they are 12th in the Western Conference at just 15-16, they are only 1.5 games out of a playoff spot and three games out of fourth place.

Davis has been the driving force for them once again this season with MVP-caliber averages of 28.0 points, 12.4 rebounds, 4.7 assists, 2.8 blocks and 1.7 steals per game.

New Orleans has a chance to do some damage in the postseason if it can get there, and adding some pieces around Davis rather than parting ways with him is the easiest and most obvious way to accomplish that.

Related

    Is Luka a Better Rookie Than LeBron?

    NBA logo
    NBA

    Is Luka a Better Rookie Than LeBron?

    Grant Hughes
    via Bleacher Report

    Too Much Steph as Pelicans Fall to Warriors

    New Orleans Pelicans logo
    New Orleans Pelicans

    Too Much Steph as Pelicans Fall to Warriors

    The Bird Writes
    via The Bird Writes

    Dubs, Pels Combine for Record 43 Made 3s

    New Orleans Pelicans logo
    New Orleans Pelicans

    Dubs, Pels Combine for Record 43 Made 3s

    Paul Kasabian
    via Bleacher Report

    Even in Loss, Pels Look Ready to Make Push for Playoffs

    New Orleans Pelicans logo
    New Orleans Pelicans

    Even in Loss, Pels Look Ready to Make Push for Playoffs

    Scott Polacek
    via Bleacher Report