NBA Trade Rumors: Anthony Davis Won't Be Dealt Unless Pelicans Are Overwhelmed

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistJanuary 29, 2019

New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis plays 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 will not trade star Anthony Davis prior to the Feb. 7 trade deadline unless they receive an "overwhelming package" in return, according to ESPN.com's Adrian Wojnarowski.

Wojnarowski reported Monday that Davis' agent, Rich Paul of Klutch Sports, has informed the Pelicans that his client has no plans to sign a long-term extension with the team and would like to be traded.

"Anthony wants to be traded to a team that allows him a chance to win consistently and compete for a championship," Paul told Wojnarowski. "Anthony wanted to be honest and clear with his intentions and that's the reason for informing them of this decision now. That's in the best interests of both Anthony's and the organization's future."

Davis is eligible to sign a five-year, $240 million supermax extension with New Orleans this summer. He is currently under club control through next season, which would see him earn a $27 million salary.

With just 10 days (now nine) until the deadline, the team let it be known Monday, per Wojnarowski, that it will not force a deal before the deadline:

"Although we are disappointed in this decision, our organization's top priority is to bring an NBA championship to our city and build our team for long-term success. Relative to specific talks of a trade, we will do this on our timeline. One that make sense for our team and it will not be dictated by those outside of our organization. We have also requested the league to strictly enforce the tampering rules associated with this transaction."

According to Wojnarowski, NBA sources believe Davis' camp will ultimately inform the Pelicans that the five-time All-Star's preferred landing spot is the Los Angeles Lakers. However, New Orleans reportedly believes the Lakers' top potential offer would still be available come the offseason, when the Boston Celtics can get in on the bidding war.

The collective bargaining agreement prohibits Boston from acquiring Davis while Kyrie Irving is on the roster on his current contract, as both Davis and Irving are signed to designated rookie extension contracts. Irving will be a free agent this summer, allowing the Celtics to trade for Davis following July 1.

Wojnarowski notes that Boston general manager Danny Ainge is expected to make a run at Davis even if the big man does not agree to an extension as part of the trade.

The No. 1 overall pick in 2012, Davis has spent his entire seven-year career in New Orleans. He is averaging career highs in scoring (29.3 points per game), rebounding (13.3), assists (4.4) and steals (1.7) while adding 2.6 blocks per game this season.

Davis has not played since Jan. 18 because of a volar plate avulsion fracture on his left index finger, but Wojnarowski reported Wednesday that he could return this week.

AD-to-L.A. rumors have been in full force since the three-time All-NBA first team selection joined Klutch Sports, which represents Lakers superstar LeBron James, in September:

Per Wojnarowski, the Lakers are expected to engage the Pelicans in trade talks "soon."

Earlier this season, James made no secret of the fact that he would welcome the opportunity to team up with the 6'10", 253-pound Pelicans star.

"That would be amazing," James told ESPN.com's Dave McMenamin in December. "That would be amazing, like, duh. That would be incredible."

Now, all eyes are on Magic Johnson and Co. to see if the Lakers can get a deal done before Feb. 7.

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