New Orleans Pelicans star Anthony Davis has his sights set on a couple of destinations should he be moving teams in the near future.
According to Chris Sheridan of Get More Sports, the forward is eyeing the likes of the Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Lakers, Philadelphia 76ers and New York Knicks.
While Davis is also happy in New Orleans, the ultimate determining factor is how they fare during the 2018/19 NBA season — if they are not in playoff contention or are in the middle of the pack, it is likely he will ask to be traded before the February deadline.
“‘Winning and being the best player on the floor every night’ matter most to Davis, according to the source, who spoke to Get More Sports on the condition of anonymity,” Sheridan wrote.
Sheridan adds the Celtics are the “ultimate long-term landing zone” for Davis, especially given the assets they boast, along with their long-term interest in the 25-year-old. They are also +100 favorites over the Lakers who are +150, according to BetDSI.
“Because of salary cap rules, one big money player would have to be included, and that would likely necessitate putting Marcus Smart’s $11 million (this season) deal into a deal if Al Horford ($29 million) and Gordon Hayward ($20 million) were not included,” Sheridan further explained. “Trade candidates would likely include Jaylen Brown and Terry Rozier, and [GM Danny] Ainge is sitting on four first-round picks in the 2019 draft.”
Davis is still contracted to the Pelicans for another two years with $52 million left on his deal as well as a $29 million player option for the 2020/21 NBA season.
Rumors about a move away from New Orleans really kicked into gear when he parted ways with his longtime agent last month to join Klutch Sports, who notably represent LeBron James. The Lakers have since been linked with a move with many such as former player Jalen Rose speculating he could join James in what would be a landscape-changing move for the NBA.
“I believe this time next year, we’re going to be talking about Anthony Davis finding his way into a Los Angeles Lakers uniform to play alongside LeBron James,” Rose speculated recently. “After this year, the New Orleans Pelicans are either going to make the playoffs and possibly lose in the first round and/or not make the playoffs.”
“The Western Conference continues to improve, so the Pelicans have not taken that quantum leap with one of the best young players in the game. I think [the Lakers] now pairing Anthony Davis with LeBron James puts them in position to try to combat what’s happening in Golden State,” he said.
Of course, it’s also easy to see why the Sixers and Knicks are of interest to Davis as well.
The Sixers boast two of the most exciting youngsters in the league in Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons while New York is the biggest market in the world and are looking to bring back the glory years, with the franchise having the cap space to build a potential new super team next year.
Davis enjoyed his best season in 2017/18 with an average of 28.1 points, 11.1 rebounds and 2.6 blocks as he led the Pelicans to the Western Conference semifinals. He notably was a finalist for MVP and Defensive Player of the Year as well.