Anthony Davis shifts focus to Lakers and Knicks

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While it was initially believed Davis was considering four clubs, he reportedly has cut that list to just the Los Angeles Lakers and the New York Knicks, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.

It seems likely the new Pelicans executive is seeking to maximize his returns for the generational talent that is Davis, and rightly so, though it seems this ask is likely above any return the organization will likely reap from a player able to walk by this time next year. 3 and 4 picks in this month's draft, respectively, and those are prime trade assets for the Pelicans to consider.

Charania also noted in his report that the Boston Celtics are among the teams most aggressive in their pursuit of Davis, despite the fact that he could become a free agent in 2020. It's on a sliding scale, so if a team offers a top-30 player or young prospects with big upside, the draft picks won't need to be as high, and vice versa.

In February, when Davis submitted an initial list of teams that he'd be interested in playing with long-term, the Bucks and Clippers were on that list.

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Each team that's actively pursuing a deal for Davis would have a hard time meeting New Orleans' requirements without getting another team involved in a trade.

Armed with the fourth overall pick in next week's NBA Draft, they could potentially offer it to a third party for a good young player that would pique the Pelicans' interest. Griffin, Davis and Davis' agent, Rich Paul, met in Los Angeles on May 29 and Davis' trade stance has remained unchanged. Still, Davis's potential hesitancy to re-sign with Boston could lead them to hold back some of their assets in a trade package.

Flip the page to see when the Pelicans would want a deal to get done. This isn't the best trade route for New Orleans, but it could happen if the Celtics pull out of the race and Griffin decides he doesn't want AD in the same conference or to do the Lakers any favors.

That timing and the start of free agency 10 days later could call for creative accounting and asset-for-asset type deals, which would also beckon the involvement of multiple teams. Going to the Knicks, however, would mean Davis would likely be the face of the franchise.