The Anthony Davis sweepstakes has begun for the second time this year. Similar to the trade deadline, the Lakers are the front runners to land Anthony Davis. Despite it seeming like the New Orleans Pelicans would not trade Anthony Davis to the Lakers under any circumstances, the Pelicans have reportedly been engaged in trade talks with several teams recently looking to get a trade done before the 2019 NBA Draft. The Lakers remain aggressive looking to get a deal done.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the Los Angeles Lakers remain aggressive in getting a deal done with the Pelicans to acquire Anthony Davis. The Lakers appear to be the front runners, with many teams moving on or not meeting New Orlean’s demands for Anthony Davis.
Many teams who were in the Anthony Davis sweepstakes seem to be out of it. The Boston Celtics were one of the top candidates to land Davis this summer, but it seems like they are moving on due to the likelihood of Kyrie Irving leaving the Boston Celtics. Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders tweeted that Boston will be prioritizing Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown and building a line up around those two stars. The Celtics have been linked to trading for Clint Capela recently, so they don’t seem to be pursuing Anthony Davis anymore.
The Los Angeles Clippers are a team who are reported to be pursuing Anthony Davis, but it seems unlikely that they acquire him. ESPN’s Bobby Marks made an appearance on “The Sedano Show,” where he revealed that guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is “off the board” in any potential Clippers’ trade for Anthony Davis. The Clippers trade package never seemed as an enticing option, but without Gilgeous-Alexander in the offer there is no way the Clippers acquire Davis. Which ultimately means they are out of the running.
The Brooklyn Nets are reluctant to trade for Anthony Davis. They don’t want to move young pieces and depth for a potential one year rental. The Nets view Caris Lavert and Jarrett Allen as the “franchise’s cornerstone pieces” according to Shams Charania of The Athletic. The Nets seem to be more focused on depth rather than being top heavy with superstars.
The New York Knicks seemed like a strong candidate to land Anthony Davis until recent reports from ESPN and SNY. According to an ESPN report, the Pelicans weren’t pleased by any offer from the Knicks. The Knicks proceeded to engage with other teams to facilitate a three team trade, but it is unknown how far talks went with other teams. Some people in the Knicks organization are uncomfortable with trading away significant assets for Davis due to how things played out with the Carmelo Anthony trade per SNY sources. It is a mystery whether or not the Knicks will be able to pull off a trade for Anthony Davis, but it seems unlikely at the moment.
Although many of these teams are unlikely to acquire Anthony Davis, they are not fully out of the running. Anything is possible in the NBA, especially with multiple team trades. The Los Angeles Lakers have the most ambition to get a trade done and have the assets to do so. The Lakers need to find Lebron James a co-star and Anthony Davis looks like the most viable option at the moment. While a trade may get done sometime in the next few days, don’t count out dark horse teams such as the Portland Trail Blazers and the Denver Nuggets to swoop in and acquire Anthony Davis. The days following up to the draft will be very interesting and suspenseful.