The Brooklyn Nets and Los Angeles Clippers are two teams on the rise that can use a superstar to lead their franchises to greater heights, but it doesn't look like New Orleans Pelicans big man Anthony Davis will be an option.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the Nets and Clips "haven't been able to gather traction in conversations with New Orleans" regarding the six-time All-Star, who posted 25.9 points, 12.0 rebounds and 2.4 blocks for the Pels last season. Davis, 26, requested a trade in January. He has one year left on his current deal.
The Nets and Clips both have interest, per Wojnarowski, but they both trail behind other front-runners for Davis. Of note, Wojnarowski reported that the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers are in talks with New Orleans.
The Nets probably don't want to see Davis four times per season in Celtic green, and the Clips probably feel the same way about facing the ex-Kentucky star another four times per yer in Lakers purple and gold.
In other words, the Nets and Clips still have some skin in the game even if they aren't in the Davis running.
However, neither team has too much to fear, for they have ample cap space to add other superstars about to become free agents.
The Nets have the space to sign two max free agents if they don't retain restricted free agent D'Angelo Russell, per Wojnarowski. Or they can add one max free agent and keep Russell, an All-Star who led the surprising Nets to the Eastern Conference's sixth seed.
Big names have been connected to Brooklyn: Wojnarowski reported that Boston Celtics point guard Kyrie Irving is interested, and Anthony Puccio of Nets Daily reported the Nets are still interested in Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant despite him suffering a ruptured Achilles tendon during the NBA Finals.
As for the Clips, ESPN's Brian Windhorst reported that the team has "a path to get two max slots."
ESPN's Stephen A. Smith (h/t Mike Chiari of Bleacher Report) said there's a "better than 50 percent chance" Durant would head there. David Aldridge of The Athletic reported that the Clips are not deterred by the Achilles injury either in regard to their interest in signing Durant to a long-term deal.
Also, Los Angeles been connected to Toronto Raptors forward Kawhi Leonard for months. Joe Vardon of The Athletic reported Friday that the Clips are "the team most associated with Leonard as far as a landing spot in free agency."
The bottom line is the Nets and Clippers don't need to worry much about failing to land Davis, as other options exist.