Anthony Davis Rumors: Star Focused on Lakers, Knicks as Top Trade Destinations

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistFebruary 1, 2019

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - JANUARY 30: Injured Anthony Davis #23 of the New Orleans Pelicans reacts during the first half against the Denver Nuggets at the Smoothie King Center on January 30, 2019 in New Orleans, Louisiana. 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. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

As the New Orleans Pelicans explore the trade market for Anthony Davis, the All-Star big man reportedly has his sights set on playing in a bigger market.

Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium reported on Friday that the Los Angeles Lakers are atop Davis' wish list, with the New York Knicks also among his "preferred" landing spots. Charania added that the Boston Celtics are not a preferred destination.

Davis sent a shockwave through the NBA on Monday when his agent, Rich Paul, went public with a trade request. 

"Anthony wants to be traded to a team that allows him a chance to win consistently and compete for a championship," Paul told ESPN's Adrian 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."

That statement gave teams around the league hope that a deal could be possible ahead of the Feb. 7 trade deadline.

Then again, it doesn't mean the Pelicans are necessarily going to cooperate. Not only did they initially make it clear they would operate on their own timeline, but ESPN's Dave McMenamin also reported earlier this week that New Orleans general manager Dell Demps was "not picking up his phone."

It appears as though that approach has softened as time as gone on, though. Wojnarowski and Zach Lowe reported Demps and Lakers president Magic Johnson had their "first substantive communication" on Thursday. The two sides are expected to resume talks at a later date.

Wojnarowski and Lowe also reported the Pelicans "see no reason" to do Davis and the Lakers a favor by trading him to L.A. with a year still remaining on his contract.

ESPN.com's Ramona Shelburne (h/t ESPN colleague Tim MacMahon) noted on Thursday that New York explored the possibility of trading Kristaps Porzingis for Davis. When the Pelicans expressed concern about Porzingis' willingness to re-sign in New Orleans, the Knicks instead dealt the forward to the Dallas Mavericks.

Meanwhile, the collective bargaining agreement prevents Boston from acquiring Davis prior to the deadline without moving Kyrie Irving, as both players are currently on designated rookie extensions.