The New Orleans Pelicans plan to listen to offers on All-NBA center Anthony Davis but won't make a deal before next Thursday's NBA trade deadline unless they're offered an overwhelming package for the franchise's star, league sources told ESPN.
Los Angeles Lakers president Magic Johnson and general manager Rob Pelinka plan to make an aggressive push to acquire Davis before the Feb.
7 deadline, armed with confidence that Davis wants to play for the Lakers and would sign an extension, league sources said.
The Lakers are expected to talk with the Pelicans soon, league sources said.
After agent Rich Paul of Klutch Sports told ESPN on Monday that he had informed the Pelicans that Davis wouldn't sign an extension this summer and wanted a trade, multiple league sources expect the agent and star to soon deliver word throughout the league that Davis' preferred destination is the Lakers and he'll become a rental player until 2020 with a trade anywhere else.
It would be an attempt to depress offers in the marketplace, a way to perhaps make the Lakers' trade package more appealing.
New Orleans is operating with an understanding that the Lakers' best deadline offer could still be available to the Pelicans in the offseason -- once the asset-rich Boston Celtics can become factors in the Davis discussions."We will do this on our terms and our deadline," the Pelicans said in a statement Monday.
The Lakers resisted unloading assets for Paul George in 2017, although they were more aggressive in pursuing ex-San Antonio forward Kawhi Leonard last year. If Davis wants to play with the Lakers, there's ultimately no stopping him from signing in Los Angeles in free agency in July 2020.
The Lakers were reluctant to believe that the Spurs wanted to make a deal with them, no matter what L. The Lakers are willing to forfeit the flexibility of a max contract slot in 2019 free agency for the chance to turn a combination of picks and their young assets -- who include Kyle Kuzma, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart and Lonzo Ball -- to acquire Davis.
Still, Boston looms as a threat to every team in the process once the Celtics are no longer constrained from adding a player on a designated rookie extension.
After Kyrie Irving -- whose contract is under the same extension -- becomes a free agent July 1, Boston is able to officially acquire Davis in a trade.
An agreement could be in place well before that date and finalized July 1.