The Lakers could be moving closer to acquiring Anthony Davis.
Los Angeles has “made progress towards completing a multi-team deal” with the Pelicans for the 26-year-old star, according to a report from SNY, which cites an unidentified league source.
The No. 4 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, which is currently held by the Lakers, has been discussed as an asset to help New Orleans acquire a “high-level player in multi-team deals,” according to a separate report from ESPN. Los Angeles has also made forward Brandon Ingram and guard Lonzo Ball available in negotiations with the Pelicans, according to the New York Times.
The Lakers have made Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball and the No. 4 pick in the June 20 draft available in trade talks with the Pelicans, league sources say. New Orleans has made it known it hope to assemble a three-teams-or-more deal before surrendering Anthony Davis
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) June 12, 2019
The deal, however, may “hinge on” Kyle Kuzma, according to the Los Angeles Times. New Orleans wants the 23-year-old forward included in a trade for Davis while the Lakers do not want to part with him.
One player that the Lakers’ trade discussions with the Pelicans for Anthony Davis could hinge on? Kyle Kuzma. The Lakers do not want to trade him, but the Pelicans want him as part of a package, sources tell me and @BA_Turner.
— Tania Ganguli (@taniaganguli) June 12, 2019
Davis would be open to playing with the Lakers and star LeBron James, his agent, Rich Paul told Sports Illustrated in a recent interview.
“My thing is: Take LeBron off the Lakers. Are the Lakers not a great destination for an arguably top-two player that went to Kentucky and won a national championship, signed with Nike?” Paul said. “For a team that’s had centers from George Mikan to Wilt Chamberlain to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to Shaq?
“So now, when you add LeBron, that’s what? The cherry on top. LeBron’s 34 years old. Anthony Davis is 26. So, when LeBron’s done playing, the Anthony Davis trade is still rolling. What better place to do it than L.A.? If it was L.A. — I never said ‘L.A.’ But there’s no negative to that.”
The six-time All-Star told the Pelicans in late January he did not plan to re-sign when he could opt out of his contract after 2019-20 and asked the team to move him. Davis averaged 25.9 points and 12 rebounds in 56 games last season.
The Lakers finished 2018-19 with a 37-45 record and missed the playoffs for a sixth straight year. They’ve been linked to multiple top free agents — including Kemba Walker, Kawhi Leonard and Jimmy Butler — yet they’re reportedly not the “front-runners” to sign any of those players.
The Celtics are also engaged in talks with New Orleans about a potential trade for Davis, ESPN’s report notes. Paul told Sports Illustrated that Davis would not ink a long-term extension if he was acquired by Boston. But, the team has been undeterred in its pursuit of Davis, according to the report.
So far, Boston has been undeterred in pursuing Davis — despite his agent insisting AD would be a 2020 flight risk in free agency. For Boston, Davis could still be its best case to keep Kyrie Irving. Story soon on https://t.co/XcwLHcsHad https://t.co/C9NwYJiObX
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 12, 2019
The Pelicans could look to move Davis before the draft, which is set for Thursday, June 20.