In case you missed the early Monday afternoon Twitterstorm from Adrian Wojnarowski and Shams Charania, the latest leaks in the ongoing Anthony Davis “please trade me” saga have him preferring to go to either the Lakers, Clippers, Knicks or Bucks, as those are the four places where he’d be comfortable signing long-term.
As a Raptors fan, though I express a certain amount of sadness that Toronto is not on the preferred list, any tears you see from me are actually tears of joy because the Boston Celtics are also not on the list.
Beyond the Lakers and Knicks, the Pelicans have been made aware of "a handful" of teams that Anthony Davis would be willing to sign long-term with upon a trade, league sources tell ESPN. Boston isn't included on that list.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 4, 2019
Anthony Davis’ representatives have informed the Pelicans that he would sign long-term with the Lakers, Knicks, Bucks and Clippers if he is traded, league sources tell @TheAthleticNBA.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) February 4, 2019
It’s endlessly amusing when the music stops and the Celtics are the only team without a chair, isn’t it?
What this means in terms of when and where (or if) Davis gets traded... well, not much. These “leaks” are certainly agenda-driven, and if there’s one thing that’s clear in this whole rigamarole, it’s that Davis wants to play with the Los Angeles Lakers (or, at least, his people do) .
So I don’t believe that AD is actually anti-Celtics. He’s pro-Lakers for sure, and all this anti-Celtics stuff is just designed to put more pressure on the Lakers and on the Pelicans to get this thing done now. This is a war between Davis, who wants to go to LA, and Pelicans management, who wants to get the best deal for Davis regardless of destination. Boston, on paper, can put together the best deal — but not until the summer, thanks to the Rose rule.
The Pelicans appear to be fine with waiting. Davis doesn’t want to wait. So his people leak the “preferred list,” knowing that A) The Knicks just made their play for summer 2019, and no longer have anything the Pelicans would want; B) the Bucks don’t have the assets either (they’d have to completely gut their team and it still might not be enough); and C) the Clippers seem content to try their luck in free agency this summer. The latter two teams apparently haven’t even made a phone call yet.
The Milwaukee Bucks are one of the teams on Davis' new extended list, league sources tell ESPN. Milwaukee hasn't inquired about a Davis trade, sources say, and its roster composition does make the pathway to a trade extremely difficult.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 4, 2019
The Los Angeles Clippers and Milwaukee Bucks are among the teams on the new extended Davis list, league sources said. Still, Clippers are another team holding onto cap space and assets for summer free agency. So far, Clippers haven't made an offer on Davis, sources said.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 4, 2019
The Lakers? Oh, do you think they’re interested!?
The Lakers have offered a new package to New Orleans that includes multiple young players, multiple draft picks and Pelicans salary cap relief for Anthony Davis, league sources tell ESPN. The offer appears to move closer to the objectives that the Pelicans are pursuing in a deal.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 4, 2019
Had enough of the posturing? (Also: You really think Davis is interested in the Knicks, a complete shitshow of an organization; the Bucks, a city even whiter and colder than Boston; or the Clippers, so he can play in LeBron’s shadow? Pull the other one, Rich Paul!)
What does this mean for the Raptors? Nothing. Masai Ujiri doesn’t care if Davis wants to sign long-term. He’d be happy to have him for a six-month rental, pair him with Kawhi Leonard, try and win a title now and see what happens in the summer. If Kawhi stays? You have a whole ‘nother year to convince Davis to do the same. If Kawhi leaves? Flip Davis, perhaps for the Boston package, or the LA package, or a top 2019 draft pick or whatever. It’s a no-lose for Toronto.
I’m sure Ujiri is working the phones as I type. I’m also sure nothing will happen until Thursday... a day which will either be the most insane trade deadline ever, or the lamest, most anti-climactic trade deadline ever. There’s no in-between.