NBA Trade Rumors: Examining Top Gossip on 2019 Deadline Day

Steve Silverman@@profootballboyFeatured ColumnistFebruary 7, 2019

Anthony Davis was not in uniform Wednesday for the Pelicans' game at Chicago.
Anthony Davis was not in uniform Wednesday for the Pelicans' game at Chicago.David Banks/Associated Press

Time appears to be running out on the Los Angeles Lakers when it comes to making the big deal prior to Thursday's 3 p.m. ET NBA trade deadline.

The Lakers, of course, are trying to make a major play for superstar big man Anthony Davis of the New Orleans Pelicans.

Davis has let the Pelicans know that he will not be signing an extension with them when his contract is up at the end of the 2020-21 season.

That may seem to be a long time away, but when the team's most important player lets his employer know that he won't be there for the long haul and wants to be wearing another uniform, it's clearly a less-than-ideal situation.

New Orleans general manager Dell Demps is certainly listening to offers, and the Lakers have made two of them. The second includes both players and high draft picks, and that would seemingly be what the Pelicans would want to make a huge deal.

The offer involves forwards Brandon Ingram and Kyle Kuzma, and guard Lonzo Ball, and two first-round picks. Los Angeles executives Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka have also indicated that they are willing to absorb the $12.7 million that is on Solomon Hill's contract for the 2019-20 season.

However, the Lakers have not heard anything back from Demps since making that offer, per ESPN insider Adrian Wojnarowski.

Wojnarowski indicated the Lakers are getting somewhat discouraged because New Orleans has been quiet for more than 24 hours, but it doesn't mean that a deal can't be made. The intensity could pick up in the last few hours before the deadline.

While the Lakers want the Pels to make a deal, the Boston Celtics do not. The Celtics have won 10 of 11 games and are starting to look like the team that many thought would earn the top spot in the Eastern Conference.

Danny Ainge and the Celtics could get involved in a trade for Anthony Davis if the Lakers fail to acquire him at the deadline.
Danny Ainge and the Celtics could get involved in a trade for Anthony Davis if the Lakers fail to acquire him at the deadline.Rick Bowmer/Associated Press/Associated Press

The Celtics have the players and the draft choices to entice the Pelicans to make a deal, but they are not likely to do it in the middle of a season in which they have a chance to compete for an NBA title.

Celtics boss Danny Ainge would rather wait until the offseason to make a deal. Players like Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown could be included in the offer that the Celtics put together.

Other teams could also emerge when it comes to making a deal for Davis, who is averaging 29.3 points and 13.3 rebounds per game.

However, the Lakers appear to have the most to offer right now, while the Celtics appear to have the assets needed to make the best deal in the offseason.

After acquiring Tobias Harris in a trade Tuesday night, the Philadelphia 76ers are making a plan to keep their core players in place, per Wojnarowski.

The ESPN insider tweeted that the Sixers want to keep newly acquired Tobias Harris, along with Jimmy Butler, Joel Embiid, and Ben Simmons.

Butler was acquired earlier this year from the Minnesota Timberwolves. 

If the Sixers can keep all four of those players together, they could challenge the Celtics and Toronto Raptors for Eastern Conference superiority.

If the Celtics can't acquire Davis and if they lose Kyrie Irving to free agency July 1, the Sixers could bypass Boston.

The Washington Wizards could be in a sell mode following the ruptured Achilles tendon suffered by John Wall. The injury means that the explosive guard will likely be out for the next 12 months or more, and that has to change the Wizards' planning, per Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated.

The first evidence of that came Wednesday night as the Wizards traded Otto Porter Jr. to the Chicago Bulls for Bobby Portis, Jabari Parker and a 2023 second-round draft pick.

More trades could be on the horizon for the Wizards prior to the deadline.