January 18, 2019 | 5:44 am EST Update
The New Orleans Pelicans stance has been firm all season long ‚ÄĒ Anthony Davis will not be traded ‚ÄĒ and Adrian Wojnarowski reconfirmed that notion last night on ESPN‚Äôs NBA Countdown show. ‚ÄúThey want to continue to try and improve this team to convince Anthony Davis to stay there,‚ÄĚ said Wojnarowski. ‚ÄúDell Demps, their gm, you know he told me, ‚ÄėListen, we‚Äôve won two of three games since we‚Äôve gotten healthier.‚Äô Niko Mirotic is back, Elfrid Payton, point guard. And he hasn‚Äôt had a chance this year to really evaluate their whole group together. They‚Äôve had a lot of injuries; they don‚Äôt have a very long window to do that between now and the February 7th trade deadline.‚ÄĚ
‚ÄúRich Paul, Anthony Davis‚Äô agent, told me that they have not had any real substantial discussions about Anthony‚Äôs future in New Orleans with the Pelicans,‚ÄĚ said Wojnarowski. ‚ÄúThat Anthony‚Äôs focus has been on let‚Äôs get this team back ‚ÄĒ they‚Äôre two and half games out of eighth place in the West. Let‚Äôs try to get the group back into the playoff picture, but there‚Äôs no promises about his future beyond the trade deadline. And I think it‚Äôs safe to say right now, I think he‚Äôll be there certainly through the trade deadline. New Orleans does not want to trade him.‚ÄĚ
ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith said a source believes Boston Celtics point guard Kyrie Irving is now destined to become an unrestricted free agent after the 2018-19 NBA season, and a reunion with former Cleveland Cavaliers teammate LeBron James is possible with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Smith continued: ‚ÄúAnd so now we have a situation where I know nothing about this. I haven‚Äôt asked. I‚Äôm just referring to a text I received last night. I will never say who it is. Never. But it says, ‚ÄėHey, a bit easier to come to LA now.‚Äô And you have people in the NBA that are now believing if indeed the Boston Celtics, loaded with talent, Danny Ainge being the genius that he is as an executive, knowing that he has enough talent not to stick with Kyrie ‚Ä¶ All of the sudden there‚Äôs another guy that‚Äôs gonna be on the free agent market this summer. It‚Äôs gonna be Kyrie Irving.‚ÄĚ
Whether Kanter will have this job with the Knicks for much longer is an open question with the trade deadline approaching. Several teams have talked to New York about potential deals involving Kanter, per sources. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported last week that the Sacramento Kings and Knicks talked about a trade involving Kanter and Zach Randolph as a swap of expiring contracts.
“People know I love the Knicks. And I want to be here, and I want to play basketball here and I want to win here,” Kanter says. “But if they trade me, I cannot say, ‘No, I don’t want to get traded.’ But I don’t want to get traded. “I guess with all the rumors, we just have to wait and see what happens.”
Kanter also knows that New York hopes to attract a top free agent this summer. To have enough cap space to sign a max free agent, the Knicks would have to renounce their rights to the seven-year veteran. That’s why Kanter paused Thursday when asked if he sees himself as part of the Knicks’ future. “I would love to be part of the future of the Knicks, of course,” he says.