Even with the NBA Finals in full swing, the rumor mill continues to heat up around the association.
On Tuesday night, it was throttled into high gear. The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported that New Orleans Pelicans vice president David Griffin began listening to trade offers for star center Anthony Davis.
It seems as though Griffin’s attempts at coaxing Davis to stay in New Orleans were futile, offering the promise of teaming up with Zion Williamson. The Pelicans were awarded his rights by winning the No. 1 pick of the 2019 NBA Draft last month.
Since Davis’ trade request over the winter, the usual suspects of the basketball world were immediately linked to a deal.
LeBron James nearly broke the Los Angeles Lakers apart as he attempted to orchestrate a deal that the Pelicans were not interested in doing.
That sentiment has carried into the offseason. Pelicans owner Gayle Benson made it known that Davis won’t be traded to the Lakers, per Zach Braziller of the New York Post. Even if David Griffin is reportedly a fan of Brandon Ingram.
The Boston Celtics have also been hanging around the Davis trade talks as they could offer a young combination of Marcus Smart, Jaylen Brown, and Jayson Tatum.
The major player though — especially over the past few months — has been the New York Knicks, who could throw together a monster package in a possible Davis deal. That’s even after missing out on the No. 1 pick at the draft lottery.
New York could put together an offer that’s headlined by the No. 3 pick in the 2019 draft which is the rights to Williamson’s college teammate, RJ Barrett.
They also can offer two first-round draft picks acquired in the Kristaps Porzingis trade with the Dallas Mavericks along with promising young talents like Kevin Knox, Mitchell Robinson, and Frank Ntilikina.
It turns out that the Knicks could have some serious competition for Davis from their New York neighbors, should they decide to get in on the sweepstakes.
While the Brooklyn Nets have not been officially considered a suitor for Davis, Charania reported that they are one of the four teams likely to pursue the 26-year-old.
It could be a risky move considering Davis has not listed the Nets as a team he would be willing to re-sign with. He is set to hit free agency following the 2019-20 season and would be reportedly interested in committing long-term to the Knicks, Lakers, Milwaukee Bucks, or Los Angeles Clippers.
However, the Nets could put together quite an appealing offer for Davis and if the dominoes fall correctly, could persuade him into staying with Brooklyn.
ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith reported on First Take on Tuesday that All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving has “given every indication” that he wants to go to the Brooklyn Nets.
It’s important to take reports like this on these tabloid-like talk shows with a grain of salt, but it’s just the latest instance of Irving-to-Brooklyn picking up steam.
Vegas’ odds have also tabbed the Nets as the favorites to land the six-time All-Star, which would prompt sweeping changes.
The problem is the Nets already have a point guard with a similar style to Irving as D’Angelo Russell developed into an All-Star this past season under Kenny Atkinson.
As a restricted free agent, it couldn’t have come at a better time for the 23-year-old, but Irving provides Brooklyn with an elite point guard with championship experience.
If Irving is on the Nets’ radar, making Russell the centerpiece of a deal could be Brooklyn’s best shot at getting Davis from New Orleans.
Suddenly, you’re looking at a core of Irving and Davis in Brooklyn to help bring in more top-tier talent in free agency.