Stephen A.: Gregg Popovich Told Dell Demps 'Don't Cave' to Anthony Davis, Lakers

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistJanuary 29, 2019

PORTLAND, OR - JANUARY 18: Anthony Davis #23 of the New Orleans Pelicans looks on during the game against the Portland Trail Blazers on January 18, 2019 at the Moda Center Arena in Portland, Oregon. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images)
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If Gregg Popovich has his way, the New Orleans Pelicans won't send Anthony Davis to the Los Angeles Lakers

On Tuesday's episode of First Take on ESPN, Stephen A. Smith reported Popovich told Pelicans general manager Dell Demps "don't cave" to the Lakers in trade talks for Davis. 

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Davis' agent, Rich Paul, told the Pelicans his client won't sign an extension with the team and has requested a trade. 

Wojnarowski added the Lakers "plan to make an aggressive push" for Davis before the NBA trade deadline on Feb. 7, but barring an "overwhelming package," New Orleans won't make a deal during the season.

Popovich's angle seems to be the one the San Antonio Spurs followed with Kawhi Leonard. Despite Leonard being heavily linked to the Lakers throughout the summer, Marc Stein of the New York Times told ESPN Los Angeles the Spurs "clearly do not want to do business" with the Lakers. 

Leonard was eventually traded to the Toronto Raptors, leaving the Lakers in the cold as they continue to search for a second superstar to pair with LeBron James. 

The Spurs and Lakers were longtime playoff rivals when both teams were dominating the Western Conference in the early 2000s. The two franchises combined to win 10 NBA titles in a 17-season span from 1998-2014. 

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Despite Popovich's potential motivations for not wanting the Lakers to add another superstar, the Pelicans have to find the best deal possible if they decide to trade Davis. If it's presented by Los Angeles, Demps shouldn't hesitate to accept it.