Anthony Davis Trade Rumors: Pelicans Have Started Listening to Offers for Star

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistJune 4, 2019

New Orleans Pelicans' Anthony Davis walks on the court during an NBA basketball game against the Dallas Mavericks in Dallas, Monday, March 18, 2019. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
Tony Gutierrez/Associated Press

The New Orleans Pelicans have reportedly started listening to trade offers for superstar forward Anthony Davis ahead of the 2019 NBA draft.

On Tuesday, Shams Charania of Stadium and The Athletic reported new Pelicans executive vice president of basketball operations David Griffin began baseline negotiations after meeting with Davis, who originally requested a trade in January, last week.

Although Griffin was initially hopeful he could convince the six-time All-Star to remain in New Orleans, especially after the team landed the No. 1 overall pick in the draft via the lottery, the Chicago native's "mind will almost assuredly not change," per Charania.

The Athletic report also noted "rival executives" believe the Boston Celtics, Brooklyn Nets, Los Angeles Lakers and New York Knicks have the best pieces to create a trade package.

Charania reported before the trade deadline in February that Davis' list of preferred long-term destinations included the Lakers, Knicks, Los Angeles Clippers and Milwaukee Bucks.

Davis is a three-time First Team All-NBA selection who's move could shift the league's balance of power, especially if the two-time defending champion Golden State Warriors can't retain Kevin Durant, DeMarcus Cousins and/or Klay Thompson in free agency.

In March, Davis appeared on an episode of HBO's The Shop with LeBron James (via Ian Begley of ESPN.com) and explained his mindset about asking for a trade and taking control of his career:

"All the media coverage [is] around me, and now I'm getting a chance to take over my career and say what I want to say and do what I want to do. So now you see everybody [saying], 'All right, I see AD changing.' Everybody's telling me, 'You're growing up. It's about time to take care of your business, take care of your career.' So now, as a player, as the CEO of my own business, I've got the power. I'm doing what I want to do and not what somebody tells me to do."

Those comments came after the NBA levied a $50,000 fine for his public trade request in January.

All told, the Pelicans' hope that Davis would change his mind given the chance to play alongside Duke freshman sensation Zion Williamson, the expected first overall pick, is seemingly fading.

New Orleans could wait until next season's trade deadline to move him since he's got another guaranteed year season on his five-year, $127.2 million contract and hope playing with Zion alters his plans. But it appears the process of moving him this summer has started.