Anthony Davis Trade Rumors: Star to Treat Any Team as 1-Year Stop Except Lakers

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistJanuary 31, 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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New Orleans Pelicans star Anthony Davis is reportedly unwilling to commit to any team besides the Los Angeles Lakers beyond next season.

According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski and Zach Lowe on Thursday, Davis is planning to treat any trade destination aside from the Lakers as a "one-year stop" in 2019-20 before signing with L.A. in free agency the next offseason.

Davis' agent, Rich Paul, told Wojnarowski on Monday that Davis has requested a trade and will not re-sign with the Pelicans.

Wojnarowski and Lowe added that while Pelicans general manager Dell Demps has taken calls from teams interested in trading for Davis, he has yet to return a call placed by Lakers GM Rob Pelinka.

It was speculated by Wojnarowski and Lowe that the decision to ignore the Lakers stems from either the Pelicans placing some responsibility on the Lakers for Davis' trade request or that it's a sign of the Pels' unwillingness to give in to Davis' desire to team with fellow Paul client LeBron James in L.A.

Despite Davis' reported preference to play for the Lakers, it is expected that multiple teams will pursue a trade for him.

The 25-year-old is a game-changer when healthy, as he is already a five-time All-Star and perennial MVP candidate.

So far this season, Davis is averaging 29.3 points, 13.3 rebounds, 4.4 assists, 2.6 blocks and 1.7 steals per game.

He is currently out injured due to a volar plate avulsion fracture of his left index finger.

The injury may not play a role in the Pelicans' decision to trade him since they have no obligation to rush into doing so.

Unless they get hit with a can't-miss offer, the Pelicans may be best off waiting until the offseason so they can weigh all their decisions before sending Davis packing.

According to Wojnarowski and Lowe, the Boston Celtics are one team aside from the Lakers that is monitoring the situation closely.

The Celtics reportedly are "unconvinced" that he would leave Boston to sign with the Lakers in free agency if they manage to acquire him from New Orleans.

Boston could offer the Pelicans a package of draft picks, as well as young and promising guards Jaylen Brown and Terry Rozier.

The Lakers also have some strong assets, though, in the form of Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma and Lonzo Ball.

New Orleans will almost certainly trade Davis to avoid losing him for nothing, but the trade partner and timing are uncertain with the Feb. 7 trade deadline approaching.


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