New Orleans Pelicans basketball operations chief David Griffin says the timing of next week's NBA Draft will not necessarily raise urgency to trade disgruntled six-time All-Star Anthony Davis.
Griffin says the Pelicans are "not in a hurry to do anything," and "don't feel there is a time sensitivity" to address Davis' "desire to stay or not stay."
Griffin spoke on a conference call on Tuesday while introducing former WNBA star Swin Cash as Pelicans vice president of basketball operations and team development.
The Pelicans have the first overall pick in the June 20 NBA Draft, when they are expected to select consensus top prospect Zion Williamson of Duke. The Pelicans could acquire additional high draft picks by dealing Davis by draft night. The club also could trade Davis for established NBA talent.
When Griffin was hired in April as Pelicans executive vice president of Basketball Operations, he spoke of persuading Davis to reconsider his trade request. But Davis has yet to indicate a change of heart.
According to The Athletic, Davis narrowed his official preferred list of four teams submitted to the Pelicans at the 2019 All-Star break to only two, the Los Angeles Lakers and New York Knicks.
Still, Davis has no say in the matter based on his existing contract. He could choose to instruct Rich Paul and Klutch Sports to inform suitors he will not sign beyond next season, but the same message of uncertainty did not halt the Toronto Raptors' 2018 pursuit of Kawhi Leonard.
That decision, of course, could potentially pay off in a big way with the Raptors one win from the first championship in franchise history. Golden State rallied to win Game 5 but need to take two more to claw all the way back from a 3-1 Finals deficit.
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In the meantime, the Pelicans are trying to get a grip on Davis' market, one that evolved with Kevin Durant's injury on Monday.
Davis said during the 2019 All-Star break that he would not turn down a trade "anywhere" in the NBA but described his motive as "just wanting to win."
LeBron James shares an agent with Davis and helped drive the Lakers' brief pursuit of the big man in February. With Magic Johnson (Lakers) and Dell Demps (Pelicans) both out of jobs after leading those trade talks, and a fresh list of demands provided teams on Monday by first-year Pelicans team president David Griffin, there is optimism a Davis deal will happen.
New Orleans have the benefit of starting over with presumptive No 1 pick Williamson as a centerpiece. A deal with the Knicks, who pick third in the 2019 Draft, could mean a pairing of Williamson and Duke team-mate RJ Barrett in the Bayou.
The options involving a third team such as Brooklyn, determined to clear salary cap space to bring in two marquee free agents, could potentially bring in Nets All-Star D'Angelo Russell as part of the new core in New Orleans.
One of the lingering doubts for a Lakers-Pelicans match is whether Griffin values Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma and Josh Hart more than Demps did when talks fizzled in February. The fourth overall pick, per reports, will not be enough of a haul for the Lakers to land Davis.
If Griffin shakes off the young starters offered up from Los Angeles, a third or fourth team might be needed for a deal to work.