With the NBA’s trade deadline approaching, the Lakers and New Orleans Pelicans have yet to discuss the offers the Lakers made for six-time All-Star forward Anthony Davis, but that conversation is expected to take place as soon as Monday.
The Pelicans are considering making a counter offer that would ask for two first-round picks and add a Pelicans player to the deal, according to people with knowledge of the situation who requested anonymity because they weren’t authorized to speak publicly on the matter.
The Lakers sent five offers to the Pelicans on Wednesday. One of the options offered Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, Brandon Ingram, Ivica Zubac and a first-round pick, multiple sources said.
The Pelicans have not responded to the Lakers’ initial offers.
Davis is the Lakers’ primary target on the trade market, but the team is also searching for shooters. To that end, they reached out to the Detroit Pistons about forward Reggie Bullock, sources said. Bullock is on the second year of a two-year contract that is paying him $2.5 million this season.
Bullock ranks 14th in the NBA with 2.5 three-point baskets per game and is shooting 38.3% from behind the arc. The Lakers make 33.7% of their three-point shots, ranking 27th in the NBA.
Davis, who has been out since Jan. 21 because of a fractured finger, said Friday he felt it was time for him to move on from the Pelicans. New Orleans drafted Davis first overall in 2012 and last season he finished third in voting for most valuable player.
Davis’ father has said he doesn’t want his son playing for the Boston Celtics, citing their treatment of point guard Isaiah Thomas, who played through a hip injury during the Celtics’ 2017 playoff run and played in the Eastern Conference finals after the death of his sister. Three months later, with his hip further damaged, Boston traded him to the Cleveland Cavaliers. The two-time All Star has become a journeyman during the last two seasons.
The Celtics and New York Knicks were considered to be the Lakers’ main competitors for Davis, but the Knicks moved on last week from the idea of acquiring Davis. They traded Kristaps Porzingis to the Dallas Mavericks on Thursday to clear the salary-cap space to pursue free agents in the summer.
One of those free agents the Knicks could pursue might be Celtics guard Kyrie Irving, who was asked Friday about his willingness to commit to Boston long term.
“At the end of the day, I’m going to do what is best for my career,” the Boston Globe quoted Irving as saying.
When pressed about his future, he added: “Ask me on July 1st.”
Despite lacking assurances about their current star or about Davis’ willingness to stay with the franchise long term, the Celtics seem determined to acquire Davis.
The Celtics cannot trade for Davis until July 1 because of a rule in the collective bargaining agreement that forbids teams from acquiring through trades multiple players who are still playing on the designated rookie extension.
Davis and Irving were signed to such contracts. The Celtics can trade away Irving and then acquire Davis, or wait until Irving’s contract expires in July.