It’s apparently the New Orleans Pelicans’ turn to control the narrative as it pertains to Anthony Davis.
Since the Pelicans star requested a trade more than a week ago, his reported desire to play for the Los Angeles Lakers has more or less dominated the conversation. Presumably, much of that information was fed to reporters by Davis’ camp trying to back New Orleans into a corner where they would be forced to trade him to the Lakers.
And while it seems like Davis and his people are still trying to spin this thing in their favor, a recent bit of reporting from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski indicates the Pelicans might actually take their time and hang on to Davis beyond Thursday’s NBA trade deadline.
“The New Orleans Pelicans are engaging with the Los Angeles Lakers in talks on a trade for All-NBA star Anthony Davis, but president Magic Johnson must overcome a significant desire within the Pelicans organization to let Thursday’s deadline expire with Davis remaining on the roster, league sources told ESPN,” Wojnarowski reported Tuesday morning.
Wojnarowski also indicated the Pelicans seek a “historic haul of picks,” as New Orleans reportedly wants four first-round and second-round picks as part of the package to acquire Davis. That’s presumably in addition to young, controllable players, too.
That certainly is a lot, but it could also just be posturing on the Pelicans’ end to say they’re not going to just give Davis away. All of this could be seen as good news for the Boston Celtics, who covet Davis but can’t trade for the superstar until the offseason because of the NBA’s Rose Rule.
Perhaps it’s just a coincidence, but the Celtics also have the biggest stash of draft picks of any team that would be in on Davis. If there was any team that could actually meet that demand, it would be Boston, who owns the following assortment of first-round picks:
Their own first-round pick
Sacramento (top-one protected)
Memphis (top-eight protected)
Los Angeles Clippers (lottery protected)
Their own first-round pick
Memphis (top-six protected, if 2019 pick isn’t conveyed)
Los Angeles Clippers (top-14 protected, if 2019 pick isn’t conveyed)
Their own first round pick
Memphis (unprotected, if 2019 and 2020 aren’t conveyed
The Celtics are also reportedly working hard to convince New Orleans to hold on to Davis until season’s end in order to give Boston a chance to make a deal.
It always has seemed like a good move for the Pelicans to wait until the offseason to make this trade, especially if it means getting the Celtics involved, but things tend to change in a heartbeat when it comes to the NBA.
The trade deadline is Thursday at 3 p.m. ET.
Thumbnail photo via Chuck Cook/USA TODAY Sports Images