NBA: Pelicans provide Davis suitors with trade demands -- report

Field Level Media/Reuters

Posted at Jun 11 2019 10:07 AM

David Griffin began paving a path out of New Orleans for Anthony Davis, but the Pelicans' personnel boss wants suitors to pave that route with talent in return.

Griffin, the newly appointed vice president of basketball operations, began providing an outline of demands to teams interested in acquiring Davis, the All-Star center who demanded a trade before the 2019 All-Star break, per ESPN.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported Griffin isn't optimistic one team can satisfy his list of needs and it might take two or even three trade partners to facilitate a deal.

"So far, Los Angeles and New York teams --- the Clippers and Lakers, Knicks and Nets -- have been among front offices inquiring with New Orleans, league sources said," Wojnarowski reported.

"The Boston Celtics have long considered a run at Davis, but they must take into consideration the future of free agent Kyrie Irving before committing to a significant offer of assets to New Orleans."

Griffin helped assemble a championship roster for the Cleveland Cavaliers upon LeBron James' return from Miami.

The rebuild in New Orleans won't likely have an established star as part of the Pelicans' nucleus, but it likely will include prospective No. 1 overall pick Zion Williamson.

Davis would be eligible for a five-year supermax contract if he stays in New Orleans, with a value above $235 million. A sign-and-trade could be considered, but Griffin is said to be pushing for a deal to completed before the 2019 draft on June 20. 

That timing and the start of free agency 10 days later could call for creative accounting and asset-for-asset type deals, which would also beckon the involvement of multiple teams.

The Lakers engaged the Pelicans in trade talks in February but those fell apart before much traction had been gained. 

However, the principal negotiators for the two sides -- Magic Johnson for the Lakers and Dell Demps in New Orleans -- are no longer employed by the teams involved.

The Pelicans' previous regime did not place a high value on the young talent the Lakers were attempting to send to New Orleans, including guards Kyle Kuzma and Josh Hart.

The Lakers also own the No. 4 pick in the 2019 draft.

The Knicks are expected to make a major push for All-Star talent this summer. 

What's not certain is whether they prefer to serve up a pairing from the "Special K" group of Kyrie Irving, Kawhi Leonard, Kevin Durant and Kemba Walker without parting with the assets it would take to acquire Davis.

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