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Anthony Davis Trade Rumors: Raptors, Bucks Expected to Make Offers for Star

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistJanuary 29, 2019

New Orleans Pelicans' Anthony Davis smiles during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Los Angeles Lakers, Friday, Dec. 21, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Jae C. Hong/Associated Press

The Toronto Raptors and Milwaukee Bucks are reportedly among the teams expected to make the New Orleans Pelicans an offer for star Anthony Davis before the NBA's Feb. 7 trade deadline.

According to Kevin O'Connor of The Ringer, the Los Angeles Lakers and New York Knicks are also expected to speak with the Pelicans.

On Monday, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski was informed by Davis' agent, Rich Paul, that Davis will not re-sign with the Pels and is seeking a trade.

Paul said the following regarding Davis, who can become a free agent after next season:

"Anthony wants to be traded to a team that allows him a chance to win consistently and compete for a championship. 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."

The Pelicans acknowledged the trade request in a statement but stressed they will operate at their own pace:

"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 makes 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."

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The Bucks and Raptors are the top two teams in the Eastern Conference, and if either of them manages to acquire Davis this season, it could make them the favorite to win the NBA championship over the Western Conference-leading Golden State Warriors.

Milwaukee has the NBA's best record at 35-13, spearheaded by the play of MVP candidate Giannis Antetokounmpo.

The Bucks could send the Pelicans some talented, young players as part of a deal, including center Thon Maker and 2017 NBA Rookie of the Year Malcolm Brogdon.

Toronto is second in the Eastern Conference at 37-15, and it has seemingly reached a new level thanks to the addition of Kawhi Leonard.

Veteran point guard Kyle Lowry could potentially go to New Orleans in a deal for Davis as could younger players such as guard Fred VanVleet, small forward OG Anunoby and rising star Pascal Siakam.

The price will be steep for either team to acquire Davis, but it may be worth it given his high level of production.

Davis is averaging 29.3 points, 13.3 rebounds, 4.4 assists, 2.6 blocks and 1.7 steals per game for a Pelicans team that is just 22-28.

The 25-year-old five-time All-Star is currently out with a volar plate avulsion fracture of his left index finger.

The NBA trade deadline is coming up fast, but there is no pressure on the Pelicans to make a deal until the offseason.

If New Orleans does decide to wait, then Milwaukee could have the advantage over Toronto since it is possible that the Raptors will lose Leonard in free agency, thus making it a less attractive landing spot for Davis.

Since Paul represents both Davis and LeBron James, though, the Lakers are shaping up to be the favorite to acquire him, especially since they can offer a bevy of young talent, including Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma and Lonzo Ball.

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