Davis, speaking to reporters as part of his All-Star media availability, confirmed the previously reported list of Milwaukee Bucks, Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers and New York Knicks is “true.” When asked specifically about the Boston Celtics, though, Davis made it clear they are a contender for his services.
“They are on my list…I never said Boston wasn’t on my list,” Davis told reporters, before repeating the latter sentence when asked for clarification.
“All 29 other teams are on my list,” Davis later said on NBATV. “I don’t have a preferred destination. I just want to win. Big market, small market, I don’t care. I want to win.”
Davis publicly requested a trade through his agent, Rich Paul, last month. He informed the Pelicans he would not sign a supermax extension this summer and would leave the franchise in 2020 if he is not traded.
The timing of the trade request seemed to be a concerted effort from Paul and Davis to get the six-time All-Star to the Lakers, where he’d pair with LeBron James. The Celtics cannot trade for Davis until after July 1 when Kyrie Irving becomes a free agent because they are both currently playing under Rose Rule extensions.
Irving will be a free agent this summer and can sign a new contract with the Celtics that would allow Boston to trade for Davis. The Celtics are widely seen to have the best trade package to offer the Pelicans, provided they’re willing to offer Jayson Tatum as part of the deal.
The Davis situation has been a complete fiasco from every perspective since his trade request went public. The Lakers ploy never worked. New Orleans appeared to have no interest in negotiating seriously ahead of the deadline, and Lakers president Magic Johnson said he did not believe he and the Pelicans had good faith talks.
Davis, who sat out prior to the deadline, returned to the lineup after not being traded despite the Pelicans preferring to continue holding him out. The NBA intervened on Davis’ behalf in discussions with New Orleans, and the result has been awkward at best and tragic at worst.
The 25-year-old is averaging just 15.8 points and 8.8 rebounds in four games since the deadline, highlighted by a three-point, six-rebound performance in Tuesday’s loss to the Orlando Magic.
Davis suffered a shoulder injury in Thursday’s win over the Oklahoma City Thunder and left the Smoothie King Center with Paul before the game’s conclusion. The optics of Davis leaving—it was later revealed he went to get an MRI—ultimately helped spur the firing of general manager Dell Demps, who was let go Friday.
Courtesy: Bleacher Report