Sean Marks et al are apparently looking at a wide variety of ways to acquire a superstar. Adrian Wojnarowski reports that the Nets as well as the Knicks and two L.A. teams are among the clubs who’ve contacted the Pelicans about trading for three-time All-NBA center Anthony Davis.
ESPN Sources: New Orleans EVP of Basketball Operations David Griffin has started to provide Anthony Davis' trade suitors with the framework of the package he's seeking in a deal ---- which is likely to need multiple teams to complete. Story: https://t.co/hKZcySwpsG— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 10, 2019
Later, Shams Charania tweeted that Davis preferred landing spot is either the Knicks or the Lakers.
Of course, Davis isn’t a free agent and can’t dictate the outcome. He asked for a trade in mid-season last year and repeated attempts, including in recent days by Griffin to get to stay, have failed to change his mind. Even the Pelicans’ win in the Draft Lottery didn’t move him, apparently.
In his story, Woj notes that the Nets are in the mix.
Woj said the Nets as well as the Knicks are likely bidding for Davis as a way to lure free agents.
For now, a Davis trade looms as a premium free agent recruiting tool for those big market teams engaged with New Orleans. For example, Brooklyn and New York are pursuing Davis to partner with the likes of a Kevin Durant or Kyrie Irving once free agency commences on June 30.
Woj did not say whether the Nets inquired before or after they scrambled assets last week to give them more cap space, perhaps enough for two max players. In a companion piece to Woj’s story, Bobby Marks noted that not only did the Nets give up two first rounders, but the Stepien Rule could prevent them from trading a pick in the year after Atlanta gets to take the Nets 2020 first.
Earlier Monday in his report on Nets free agency, Anthony Puccio, writing for the Daily News, said the Nets are not willing to give up foundation pieces for the 26-year-old Davis.
While the Nets are in talks with New Orleans, there’s reluctance around the organization because they don’t want to move young, foundational pieces for a potential one-year rental, namely players like LeVert and/or Jarrett Allen who the Nets view as the franchise’s cornerstone pieces.
However, with the possibility of the Knicks, Lakers or Celtics landing him and potentially partnering him up with Durant or Irving, the Nets want to remain as flexible as possible. Sources believe Davis and his camp are pushing for a trade before the NBA Draft on June 20.
Griffin believes, according to Woj, that any trade for Davis will likely including multiple teams with one or more or them taking on valuable assets to facilitate the deal.
According to front offices who’ve engaged in conversations with Griffin, he hasn’t sounded convinced that a singular team is likely to fulfill his wishes for a Davis deal. To that end, Griffin has been working to find multi-team trade scenarios that could redirect assets for players or picks more preferable to the Pelicans, sources said.
With all the cap space the Nets acquired in the Allen Crabbe trade, even if the Nets aren’t able to do a deal for Davis, they could be the beneficiaries of a multi-team deal. Woj notes what Griffin is hoping to get.
Griffin is pursuing a combination of assets that include an All-Star player, a young player with All-Star potential and two first-round picks, league sources said. Those wants are on a sliding scale. For example, the better the player, the softer the asks on the draft picks -- and vice versa.
Woj wrote that a deal could come down in the day or two prior to the June 20 NBA Draft, which will be held in Barclays Center.
Davis played only 56 games for the Pelicans last season, averaging 25.9 points, 12.0 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 2.4 blocks.
In other free agent news, Stephen A. Smith reported that Kyrie Irving flew to the Bay Area to convince Kevin Durant to join him in Brooklyn.
- Sources: Pelicans open to multiteam Davis deal - Adrian Wojnarowski - ESPN
- What top Anthony Davis trade contenders can actually offer - Bobby Marks - ESPN
- Sources: Anthony Davis narrows focus of desired long-term destinations from four teams to Lakers and Knicks - Shams Charania - The Athletic