Anthony Davis’ future with the New Orleans Pelicans has been a topic of discussion throughout this NBA offseason and talks of a potential departure this year continues to make the rounds as the start of the new season draws closer.
The Pelicans center has two more years on his current deal with a player option for the 2020-21 season, but rumors are pointing toward a potential exit as he looks to join a team capable of challenging for the championship.
Davis recently changed agents and tied up with LeBron James’ representative Rich Paul, which furthered speculation about an imminent departure. But both the agent and the player indicated he has no intention of leaving the Pelicans at the moment, but if they are not in playoff contention come the end of the year, the five-time NBA All-Star could look toward another franchise.
The Boston Celtics and the Los Angeles Lakers are among a few teams keeping a close eye on the developments and according to the Athletic’s Jay King, Davis’ preferred destination could be TD Garden to team up with Team USA member Kyrie Irving.
The Celtics point guard’s future was also shrouded in doubt until last week with Irving also entering the final of his deal. But the 2016 NBA champion recently committed his future to the Celtics after confirming he plans of re-signing with his current employers when he enters free agency in 2019.
Irving’s commitment to the team has said to have swayed the head of Davis, who according to King has already held talks with the Celtics guard about teaming up in Boston.
“The two have already spoken about what it would be like to play together in Boston, according to a league source,” King said, as quoted by the Express.
The Lakers are also said to be keen admirers of the player, who proclaimed himself to be the best in the league at the moment, but the report said the Celtics remain the front runners.
“Several league sources have said they believe Davis could end up either with the Celtics or Lakers if the Pelicans were to move him,” King added. “If he landed with the Celtics, he’d be reunited with former Team USA team-mate Irving.”
Former Celtics center Paul Pierce recently said he was certain Davis will leave the Pelicans if they are not in playoff contention come the end of the year. The trade deadline is Feb. 7 and the New Orleans franchise could look to cash in on the player rather than risk losing him through free agency.
“If New Orleans doesn’t play well this year, they’re going to try and broker a trade to get him to Los Angeles,” Pierce said on “The Jump” on Tuesday.
“What better guy to do that than Rich Paul? He pretty much controls the market. Guys are running left and right to be represented by him. …. This is classic… I think there are some things in the NBA we don’t know about. Something’s brewing,” he explained.
“If things don’t go well in New Orleans this year and they’re hovering around 500 or not looking like a playoff team, Boston’s going to make a run at him or the Lakers. … I guarantee you that. He will not be in New Orleans by the end of the year. If they’re not playing well he will not make it to All-Star weekend,” the 2008 NBA champion said.