NBA rumors: Pelicans underwhelmed by Lakers' initial offers for Anthony Davis

2 years ago via ESPN
As the Los Angeles Lakers pursue New Orleans Pelicans All-NBA center Anthony Davis ahead of Thursday’s trade deadline, the initial offers have been underwhelming, including the Lakers’ first offer of Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, Rajon Rondo, Michael Beasley and a first-round pick, league sources told ESPN.

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Shams Charania: Sources: The Lakers have yet to place all of their assets on the table as the Pelicans listen on offers for Anthony Davis. "Lowball," one source said. Davis hasn't been cleared from his fractured left finger, but is close to a return to action.
Will Guillory: Sources with @Shams Charania: In trade talks with the New Orleans Pelicans, the Los Angeles Lakers have not included two players: LeBron James and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.
Bobby Marks: The same package that LAL is offering will be there this summer except Rondo/Beasley is replaced with cap space. If Anthony Davis was on an expiring contract, maybe this makes sense. But he’s not.
Tom Westerholm: In a mid-game ESPN hit, Woj just said the Celtics are undeterred by Anthony Davis’ father’s take on things, and that the Pelicans haven’t heard anything so far that would dissuade them from waiting until after the season.
The father of New Orleans Pelicans star Anthony Davis says he does not want his son to play for the Boston Celtics, if they were to try to acquire him via trade this summer. "I would never want my son to play for Boston after what they done to Isaiah Thomas," Anthony Davis Sr. told ESPN on Friday. "No loyalty. Guy gives his heart and soul and they traded him."
The Knicks’ surprising blockbuster trade of Porzingis to the Mavericks essentially wiped clean New York’s payroll, putting them in prime position to sign two superstars, with Kevin Durant and Irving as the primary targets. Thursday evening’s rumor mill suggested that Davis believes Irving will sign with the Knicks. Don’t put too much stock in that, however. For one thing, front-office sources around the league believe that’s a smokescreen scare tactic as Davis’ agent tries to push him to the Lakers. Uncertainty about what the Celtics might offer works heavily in the Lakers' favor.
Currently, the Pelicans don't intend to trade Davis to the Lakers, sources told ESPN, and they rejected a Knicks offer of a package centered on Porzingis before he was traded to the Dallas Mavericks, sources told ESPN's Ramona Shelburne. It seems New Orleans might be content to wait on Boston to be able to make an offer, but that offer wouldn't have to wait until summer if Irving was moved.
Davis' camp has let it be known he doesn't consider the Celtics a long-term home because he doesn't believe Irving plans to re-sign with the Celtics next season, sources said. The New York Knicks' stunning salary-dump trade that moved out Porzingis on Thursday cleared enough salary-cap space for the team to chase both Kevin Durant and Irving in free agency.
Three NBA team executives told USA TODAY Sports they are operating under the premise that the Los Angeles Lakers are Anthony Davis’ preferred destination and that any other team that acquires him from New Orleans will be getting a short-term rental until Davis can become a free agent in 2020.
The Knicks did call New Orleans about Anthony Davis, a source told ESPN's Ramona Shelburne, but the Pelicans weren't interested in the Latvian. There was uncertainty over Porzingis' willingness to remain in New Orleans beyond his current contract, sources said.
Tania Ganguli: After learning of the Lakers’ offers to the Pelicans, Lonzo Ball’s camp maintains that New Orleans isn’t the desired destination. Phoenix makes the most basketball sense if Ball were to be traded and according to two sources there is mutual interest.
A source said Janis Porzingis was anxious about the Anthony Davis rumors this week while the Knicks fell to the NBA’s bottom at 10-40. Porzingis is set to be a restricted free agent this summer, and the Knicks could have matched any offer.
According to a league source, the Celtics and Pelicans have not had trade discussions this week, but they have in the past, and New Orleans remains well aware of Boston’s interest in Davis as well as the treasure chest of assets it possesses.
Brad Turner: Sources: Lakers let Demps know one of trade scenarios would include Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, Brandon Ingram, Ivica Zubac, No. 1 pick, per source. Eric Pincus: Trying to parse BT's language - if Lakers have discussed multiple scenarios that include all of the listed players - doesn't mean one specific scenario includes all of the players. Tania Ganguli: actually, no. this is one of the options. all together.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Lakers and Pelicans executives have connected on the phone concerning Anthony Davis, league sources tell ESPN. They're expected to talk again prior to next week's trade deadline.
As the NBA trade deadline looms within a week, the Lakers' immediate pursuit of All-Star forward Anthony Davis is fraught with obstacles -- including the fact that New Orleans Pelicans general manager Dell Demps has yet to return a call to Lakers GM Rob Pelinka, league sources told ESPN. The sluggish response time is perhaps a message that New Orleans places some responsibility on the Lakers for Davis' trade request, or perhaps an indication to Davis and his agent, Rich Paul of Klutch Sports, that the franchise doesn't plan to easily acquiesce on a trade request to partner with LeBron James.
Demps is picking up his phone and returning calls -- just not from the Lakers, sources said. From Paul George to Leonard to Davis, the Lakers' front office is growing accustomed to icy receptions from teams enduring All-Star trade demands with a full year left on their contracts.
With Boston prohibited from trading for Davis this season, going to the Lakers presents Davis a chance to make something of this 2018-19 season. The Celtics and other suitors are curious as to whether the potential Lakers-or-bust stance softens once the deadline passes, sources said.
Brian Windhorst: Unless Anthony Davis has had a major change of heart since I was last informed, he does not desire to play in his hometown. So I would take the Bulls off the market.
A new version of the video, which was shown before Wednesday's game against the Denver Nuggets, contains no highlights of Davis, nor does it include him in the montage of players at the conclusion of the video. When asked about the change after his team's 105-99 loss, Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry said he has "never even seen that video." "I really haven't," he told reporters. "I'm not avoiding anything, but I mean, I couldn't tell you who's on that and who's not."
This makes the situation incredibly complex for New Orleans and every other Davis suitor now, though. Everyone must evaluate: What will Boston offer? Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN: I think Boston has sent a message to the Pelicans: “Be patient. Wait for us. We are going to be in this, and we’re going to be willing to talk about essentially everyone on our roster outside Kyrie Irving.”
On Wednesday’s NBA Countdown on ESPN, Adrian Wojnarowski offered some insight on the New Orleans Pelicans’ situation. The first thing made clear: New Orleans will take its time dealing Anthony Davis.
Adrian Wojnarowski: “The message that’s been given out to teams is, ‘Hey if you want to make an offer go ahead, we’ll put it up on our board.’ But New Orleans is really focused on the long play here with these trade talks with Anthony Davis. The trade deadline is obviously next Thursday [February 7]. It is very unlikely that they’re going to be engaged seriously enough with anybody to do a trade by then.”
Woj expressed the Pelicans still hope to make it back to the postseason in 2018-19, as well, which factors into their being patient. However, the Boston Celtics’ interest in Davis has played a part in this, too. Although Danny Ainge and company can’t make an offer until the end of the season because of the “Rose Rule” Boston still has the best and largest group of assets to offer—which is something the Celtics have apparently made clear to the Pelicans.
Adrian Wojnarowski: “Essentially, having Boston in the bidding, who is the team with the most draft picks, several outstanding young players and a really motivated team to try to acquire Anthony Davis it only elevates everyone else’s offers in the trade process and Boston is going to be there. And I think, Boston has sent a message to the Pelicans, ‘Be patient. Wait for us, we are going to be in this and we’re going to be willing to talk about essentially everyone on our roster outside of Kyrie Irving.’ So, I think right now it’s put New Orleans very much in a holding pattern and it’s really dampened the possibility of the [Los Angeles] Lakers being able to do what they’d love to do, is get a deal done prior to the trade deadline. New Orleans has no interest in acquiescing Anthony Davis to the Lakers right now.”

http://twitter.com/TheRenderNBA/status/1090788293808025600
Scott Kushner: Anthony Davis is expected to address the media in New Orleans tomorrow afternoon. It will be his first comments since requesting a trade.
The question is whether the Lakers, the team that drafted the 6-foot-9 kid with the 7-foot-3 wingspan out of Duke three years ago, will continue to be good to him or if he will become part of a package to try to pry Davis from New Orleans by the Feb. 7 trade deadline. Lakers coach Luke Walton did not address the situation with the entire team Monday, a team source told ESPN. However, Walton has had several individual conversations about it with his players, much the same way he did with players last season when the specter of landing James became an elephant in the room and eventually led to the cap-clearing trade at the deadline that sent Larry Nance Jr. and Jordan Clarkson to, coincidentally, the Cleveland Cavaliers.
When that offer could occur leading up to the deadline is unknown. New Orleans general manager Dell Demps is "not picking up his phone," a source familiar with the situation told ESPN on Tuesday.
Paul did not give the Pelicans a list of desired destinations, according to a source with knowledge of the situation, but that move could be coming soon. And yes, all signs continue to point to Davis’ strong preference being the Lakers as the leader in that clubhouse.
One Eastern Conference executive cautioned that Paul might not have the same sway to deliver Davis as he did with LeBron. "The dad is going to have a say," the source said, referring to Anthony Davis Sr., who apparently is weighing the vast business potential of his son as the King of New York as opposed to the Prince of Bel-Air.
One NBA source indicated the Knicks, like most teams, would engage with the Pelicans and try to find a way into the negotiations. But to get into the mix for Davis would require the sort of shift that would break apart the Knicks’ plan before it could get started. The teams that have figured to be the front-runners for Davis have a huge head start.
As if it’s not tough enough as it is to convince a megastar to stay in a small market, a source with knowledge of Davis’ thinking said the idea that the Pelicans were less of a priority to ownership than the Saints has been a growing concern. While Pelicans officials push back against this notion, all it takes to understand why someone might question that element is a quick peek at Loomis’ biography in the Pelicans media guide. Of the 541 words describing his involvement, 497 are spent chronicling his football accomplishments.
There is a belief in Lakers circles that the Pelicans are targeting Kyle Kuzma, Lonzo Ball and Ivica Zubac as part of a possible package, but Johnson and Pelinka should be willing to do this deal even if it includes Brandon Ingram too.
Chris Haynes first addressed whether he thinks the Lakers might be able to deal for Davis before the NBA trade deadline: “I don’t see that right now. I mean, if you look at (the Pelicans’) statement, they’re still on the league about looking into tampering charges and so there’s bad blood. I was talking with somebody earlier and they brought up Gregg Popovich, how he was not going to trade Kawhi to the Lakers, and I said ‘this is different. It’s a little bit deeper even than that.’
Chris Haynes: The NBA announces that New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis has been fined $50,000 for his agent Rich Paul going public with a trade request.
When Anthony Davis’s camp made it clear this week that the All-Star did not intend to sign an extension with the Pelicans this summer and would like to be traded, it ignited what is sure to be a feeding frenzy that will likely last until summer, as teams feverishly look for ways to acquire one of the NBA’s transcendent talents. But according to multiple league sources, Boston has been diligently preparing for this scenario for months. During this time, the Celtics have made informal calls to the Pelicans, the sources said, understanding that New Orleans was in no hurry to trade its centerpiece, but making sure that if the time came where its hand was forced, Boston would be ready.
The timing of Davis’s request this week is certainly not ideal for the Celtics. A league rule forbids teams from acquiring multiple players who have signed designated rookie extensions, and Irving was the first. So the Celtics would have to wait until Irving opts out of his deal on July 1 to make a move, while most other teams can try to strike now, prior to next Thursday’s trade deadline. But if Davis remains in New Orleans after the deadline, league sources say, there is a growing belief around the league that the Celtics would become the favorites to land the superstar forward.
According to a source, the Knicks still don’t know how the Pelicans want to proceed in a return package — whether they seek a long-term rebuild or inherit immediate assets. The Knicks have a ton of future assets, such as Robinson and likely a 2019 top-five lottery pick. Robinson is showing he can be a shotblocking machine. In Monday’s loss in Charlotte, Robinson blocked three shots — and got tagged with two goaltending violations. “The Pelicans have always liked Mitchell,” one NBA source said.
There were reports earlier this season Davis considered New York a potential destination to sign in 2020, but some wonder if that is true. If the Knicks package too many assets and deliver Kristaps Porzingis to New Orleans, they would leave the cupboard bare like they did in the Carmelo Anthony deadline deal in 2011. “[Davis] wants to play for a championship,” one NBA executive said. “I don’t see how the Knicks gut their talent in a trade and then have the personnel to get him to re-sign long-term.”
One NBA talent evaluator said the Knicks’ only major assets are Porzingis and their draft picks. “The only thing of value there to New Orleans is KP and more than one unprotected first-rounders,” he said.
As if it’s not tough enough as it is to convince a megastar to stay in a small market, a source with knowledge of Davis’ thinking said the idea that the Pelicans were less of a priority to ownership than the Saints has been a growing concern. While Pelicans officials push back against this notion, all it takes to understand why someone might question that element is a quick peek at Loomis’ biography in the Pelicans media guide. Of the 541 words describing his involvement, 497 are spent chronicling his football accomplishments.
One major factor that simply can’t be overlooked here: LeBron’s understandable impatience, and the reality that Father Time is ticking louder than ever right now. As if being 34 years old and in your 16th NBA season wasn’t reminder enough that there was no time to waste, this extended absence because of a groin injury (16 games and counting) is just the kind of thing that might up the urgency in any superstar’s mind — let alone someone who has been to the NBA Finals in eight consecutive seasons. At various points of this season, sources say his frustration level has been visibly high. The young players haven’t shown an ability to survive without him while going 6-10 during that span, and the notion of adding Davis now would instantly vault the Lakers into Western Conference title contention — no matter who else was filling out the roster.
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.
There have been rumblings since early January that Davis would request a trade by the end of the month, but front-office executives I spoke with still find the timing to be curious. One factor is clear, though: By requesting a trade now through his agent, Rich Paul of Klutch Sports, the window has been pried open for the Lakers to at least have a shot at landing Davis. The longer this drama drags along, the harder it will be for the Lakers, because teams like the Celtics, Knicks, and maybe others will be able to tap into different resources. The Lakers’ brass of Rob Pelinka and Magic Johnson will be aggressive in pushing for a deal now, per league sources, knowing that if they wait, they will likely lose Davis.
GM Danny Ainge is undeterred on making a trade for Davis, even without an assurance that he would agree to an extension with the Celtics, league sources said. Boston has been calling New Orleans for the past year-plus on Davis, and has gathered multiple first-round picks and young players to include in a package for him. Davis has a strong relationship with Irving, and Boston knows that trading for Davis would assuredly perish any possibility of Irving changing his mind and leaving the Celtics in free agency this summer.
Adrian Wojnarowski: NBA spokesman: “We commenced an investigation this morning upon reading the reports regarding Anthony Davis. That process is ongoing.” One reason: an on-the-record request for a trade by an agent or a player. Davis could be fined.
Deciding whether to honor Davis' trade request, deciding when to honor it and deciding what type of trade package the Pelicans should seek are ownership-level decisions. It's as complicated and as stressful of a moment as a sports team owner can have in this day and age. It's a time when leadership and guidance are badly needed. "She's still learning. I would guess it's going to be a challenge for her," one NBA owner said. "I would think Adam [Silver] would offer guidance if she wanted it."
New Orleans has options right now. The Lakers, Knicks, Bucks, and Raptors are expected to make trade offers for Davis ahead of the deadline, according to multiple front office sources. To some degree, every team will at least consider making an offer. But the Nuggets are considered by front-office executives as the off-the-radar team that actually has the assets to complete a deal, should they choose to enter the sweepstakes.
Most league sources have long felt that the Celtics are favorites for Davis if this drama reaches the summer because of the combination of young players and draft assets they could put on the table. Jayson Tatum is arguably the best asset who will be available in a trade; and though Jaylen Brown struggled to start the season, he has surged lately and previously shined during the postseason.
I’ve since been told by league sources that Davis doesn’t want to play for Chicago, his hometown team, as ESPN’s Brian Windhorst first reported.
Adrian Wojnarowski: “The best-case scenario for the Lakers is they add Anthony Davis, and then Golden State doesn’t offer Klay Thompson a max contract. They try to get Klay to take a little less than the max and if that happens I’m told Klay’s attention will be on the Lakers if they have Anthony Davis. Now we’ll see what Golden State does there. They’ve got a lot of players to pay going forward. They want to re-sign Kevin Durant. They certainly want to re-sign Klay, they’ve got Draymond Green coming up in free agency the following year.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ScPoS5ef3xU
Several of the young Lakers, including Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, Kuzma and Hart, will have to deal with increasing trade rumors through the Feb. 7 trade deadline as the team continues its pursuit of a superstar to pair with James. "I control what I can control," Ingram said. "I don't listen to the media, whatever it is. I just play basketball, control what I can control, come on the floor, be the best that I can be and listen to the people in my circle."
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In the locker room after the Nets’ 86-83 loss, there were lots of “atta boys” and “pick your head ups” and “we’ll live with that shot” from teammates, but Irving had a little piece of extra advice. Be like dad. Dunk it. “Kyrie was like, ‘Hey, you gotta try and dunk it, get a foul or something,’” Brown said. “That’s definitely what I should have done. I had the lane and the angle too, so maybe if I did that I’d have gotten a foul call, gotten to the line. If I had taken my two steps toward the rim, I probably could’ve dunked the ball.”
The available replays call into question this very idea. Lopez is 7-feet tall, and he’d recovered quickly from where he was on the sideline to get in Brown’s way. Brown faded left as he shot the ball, and, “I shot it too hard, I was trying to get it up a little higher, but he was nowhere near the ball, looking at the pictures and the film. “I could’ve just really did a simple layup and made the shot,” he said. “I made it difficult for myself just thinking too much during the shot.”
Harris wasn’t the only one misfiring in the Nets’ 86-83 loss. Add in Landry Shamet (1-for-4) and Mike James (1-for-5), and three Nets who can make a defense pay for double-teaming Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving were a combined 3-for-20 from the field, including 2-for-11 from 3-point range. If those supporting cast numbers are repeated Sunday in Game 4, the series soon could be tied. “If you look at it, only one or two buckets in the last three or four minutes that we needed to fall and they just didn’t,” coach Steve Nash said. “I thought plenty of opportunities. Now, would I want Kevin or Ky shooting every single ball? Of course, but that’s not always the way it works out. We can learn from it.”
Durant is 25 of 45 in the 10- to 14-foot range in these playoffs. No other player has made more than 17 playoff jumpers in that zone. Durant is 17 of 32 from the 15- to 19-foot range. No other player has made more than 12 playoff jumpers in that zone. Who is that next player? Devin Booker. He’s not quite Durant, from a potency or accuracy standpoint. But he’s the closest thing the NBA has to Durant right now. Booker is 17 of 33 in that 10- to 14-foot range and 12 of 26 in that 15- to 19-foot range. Combine both zones and Durant has made 42, Booker has made 29 and Kawhi Leonard has made 24 in these playoffs. That’s one, two, three in the rankings. Decent company for Phoenix’s rising three-level scorer.
Paul’s stabilizing presence has been a huge reason why the Suns are a game away from ending Denver’s season. He has scored 30 points on 12-of-13 shooting, including 4-of-4 from 3-point range, with eight assists and no turnovers combined in the three fourth quarters in this series, according to ESPN Stats & Information research. “We just got to make it more difficult on him,” Nuggets guard Monte Morris said. “He’s a Hall of Fame point guard, top five easily, still playing in the NBA. … He’s getting everybody involved. CP is a tough cover for anybody, but we have to just stick to our game plan and try to execute it the best way we can.