In what has essentially become a battle of leaked information between opposed sides in a negotiation, Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports just dropped a report that Anthony Davis has limited his preferred trade destinations to just two teams — the Knicks and the Lakers. This is (at least somewhat) counter to Adrian Wojnarowki’s piece earlier today on what the Pelicans are looking for in a trade.
Essentially, Woj has become the mouthpiece for David Griffin and the Pelicans, while Shams is getting his information from Klutch Sports and Anthony Davis’ “camp”. And from AD’s side, it’s the same as it’s always been, which is that AD wants to be on the Lakers (and, maybe, the Knicks).
Putting together the pieces from Woj’s report earlier today, it’s clear that the Pelicans know where AD stands, but aren’t satisfied with the return from the Knicks or Lakers. Hence the paragraph in Woj’s column dedicated to three-team trades, which only mentions the Knicks and Lakers by name. It seems more likely than ever that he will be on one of those teams before the NBA Draft on June 20th, with my money being on the Lakers. They’ve always had the most smoke, and the Klutch connection with LeBron is impossible to overlook.
As we’ve mentioned countless times on here, an Anthony Davis trade just ultimately doesn’t make a ton of sense for the Clippers. There’s never been a strong inkling that he wants to be a Clipper, and they’d have to gut their roster to trade for him. As powerful as Kawhi’s run has been to the testament of superstar power and the ability to (possibly, still) retain players, AD is a different sort with a very different agent.
Now, the Pelicans are still in control here. They can trade Davis to whichever team offers them the best package. If that’s the Clippers, there’s a chance that he could be in the red, white, and blue in the next 10 days. However, the risk of trading for a superstar who is never fully invested in the team is so massive that it’s difficult to see happening. If anyone would dare such a gamble, it might be this Clippers’ front office, but the odds on him being a Clipper have to be reduced after today.
We will have more on the AD situation as it develops: the Clippers have reached out and still have one of the better trade packages if they include Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, but the tide already seems to be turning against them.