The New Orleans Pelicans and Los Angeles Lakers discussed All-Star forward Anthony Davis on the phone Thursday, after the Pelicans had previously not returned the Lakers’ calls, ESPN reported.
Prior to Thursday, New Orleans general manager Dell Demps had been returning calls to other teams, just not Lakers GM Rob Pelinka, according to the report. ESPN also intimated the Pelicans won’t gift-wrap Davis’ path to Los Angeles, which most around the league believe is the 26-year-old forward’s only preferred destination.
ESPN reported earlier this week that the Lakers were poised to make an aggressive play to acquire Davis from the Pelicans before next week’s trade deadline.
However, the Pelicans, who have Davis under contract through the 2019-20 season, made it clear Monday that they are in no rush to deal Davis, saying, “we will do this on our timeline.” ESPN’s report Thursday reiterated that point, saying the team is far more likely to wait until after the season for its best offer than to make a deal before the deadline.
The trade deadline is Feb. 7.
According to the ESPN report, the Lakers are willing to part with a combination of picks and players, including Kyle Kuzma, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart and Lonzo Ball to acquire Davis and pair him up with LeBron James.
The NBA fined Davis $50,000 on Tuesday for violating a rule prohibiting players or their representatives from making public trade demands.
Davis’ agent, Rich Paul, told ESPN on Monday that his client “wants to be traded to a team that allows him a chance to win consistently and compete for a championship,” adding that Davis “wanted to be honest and clear with his intentions” to give the team time to plan for his departure. The team later acknowledged Davis had requested a trade over the weekend.
In a statement announcing the fine Tuesday, the NBA called Paul’s comments to ESPN “an intentional effort to undermine the contractual relationship between Davis and the Pelicans.”
The Boston Celtics and New York Knicks are among other teams reportedly interested in trading for Davis.
—Field Level Media