Pelicans Rumors: Anthony Davis landing spot 2 team race, Lakers/Celtics?

Anthony Davis New Orleans Pelicans (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Anthony Davis New Orleans Pelicans (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) /

If you’re reading between the lines of recent Anthony Davis/New Orleans Pelicans rumors, it’s beginning to look like it could come down to the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics duking it out for AD’s contract.

As we continue to approach the NBA Draft and free agency, more New Orleans Pelicans rumors regarding Anthony Davis keep trickling out. If you sort through a lot of the noise, it’s starting to seem like there are two teams that are most likely to actually pull the trigger on an offer; the Los Angeles Lakers and the Boston Celtics.

Back when Anthony Davis’ request originally went public, there were many teams that seemed like they might be wanting to jump in the action outside of the Lakers and Celtics, including the Nuggets, Knicks, and Clippers. More and more teams have come and gone from the AD Rumor Spotlight between then and now, but the only buzz at the moment seems to center around four teams; the Celtics, Lakers, Nets, and Knicks.

Denver seemed like they were only interested in adding Davis during the season to try to make a deeper playoff run this year, but that’s no longer a scenario that’s on the table for them with the trade deadline long passed and the post-season winding down. It seemed like the Clippers were hoarding assets and clearing space to make a move for AD, but recent reports suggesting they’d be unwilling to trade rookie guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander take them out of the running.

That leaves us with the aforementioned four teams that will likely be calling David Griffin and Trajan Langdon this summer. The Knicks have the extremely valuable #3 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft to dangle in front of the Pelicans, but their best asset after that is rookie wing Kevin Knox, a player New Orleans isn’t necessarily impressed by.

The Brooklyn Nets were a huge surprise success story this season, and they’re looking to be aggressive this summer to take the next step. The team is consistently linked to Kyrie Irving, and they’d want one more big name to pair with him. Rumor has it, Brooklyn wants to go after AD, but with the recent Allen Crabbe trade that shipped away a 2019 first round pick, they might not have the ammo to pull off a deal.

That leaves the Lakers and Celtics to bid for Anthony Davis, and really, that’s all the New Orleans Pelicans need. These two storied franchises with plenty of history between them seem, once again, ready to go toe-to-toe. Having two interested teams creates enough leverage for the Pelicans to wait for LA and Boston to try to outdo one another.

On the Lakers’ front, this means they’ll likely package together some combination of their #4 overall 2019 draft pick, Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, Josh Hart, or Moritz Wagner. Those are more than enough pieces to put together a very enticing offer.

For Boston to outdo LA, they’ll have to pony up Jayson Tatum (reportedly still New Orleans’ most desired piece in an AD trade), along with some combination of their three 2019 first round draft picks, Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart, or whoever else Danny Ainge would be willing to throw in. Like the possible Lakers offer, this is another very, very nice deal for the New Orleans Pelicans.

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On paper, it might be disappointing for the Anthony Davis Sweepstakes to come down to two teams. However, if it does, the Lakers and the Celtics both have the firepower to keep things interesting. This still leaves all the leverage in the Big Easy. As more New Orleans Pelicans rumors continue to leak in this process, stay tuned. Pelican Debrief will keep you in the loop.