On Brian Windhorst’s podcast The Hoop Collective, Jackie MacMullan made sure that Lakers fans wouldn’t be going into the weekend enjoying the sunshine. According to MacMullan, New Orleans Pelicans owner Gayle Benson has made it very clear she won’t be trading Anthony Davis to the Lakers:
“We have been told, I think, through channels – most of us have heard this same scuttlebutt – that Gayle Benson has basically told him, “To the Lakers, over my dead body.”
With the Lakers out of the picture, it leaves the Knicks and Celtics as the two teams with the best packages to offer. If Boston is willing to include Jayson Tatum, then there really is no discussion to be had. But with the chances increasing that Kyrie Irving could be on his way to New York, the Celtics may have other plans. Not having Irving significantly hurts Boston’s chances of keeping Davis long-term. Which would make parting ways with Tatum without a commitment from Davis foolish. Tatum is 21-years-old and has thrived with Brad Stevens when Irving has been out.
The Knicks have the third pick in the draft and can send RJ Barrett to the Pelicans to reunite him with Blue Devil teammate Zion Williamson. Shams Charania reported earlier this week Kevin Knox could also be sent to New Orleans to get the Davis deal done. Granted, that was a package built around Williamson, not Barrett.
Recent history in the NBA indicates a team could come out of nowhere and acquire Davis. Teams like Portland and Denver could follow the path of Toronto and risk convincing the star to stay past his final year. Wherever Davis does end up, it sure sounds like it will only make Lakers’ fans feel sicker than they already do.
Update: Benson has denied the report.