The Anthony Davis saga is close to a conclusion with the Los Angeles Lakers reportedly on the verge of sealing a trade for the NBA superstar, according to ESPN.
New Orleans Pelicans have agreed to trade NBA All-Star big man Anthony Davis to the Los Angeles Lakers in return for three players and three first-round picks – including the No. 4 overall selection in next week’s draft – ESPN reported.
The deal, which cannot be made official until next month, involves Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram and Josh Hart, and will give the Pelicans two of the top four draft picks after they won the lottery for the top overall selection.
According to ESPN, New Orleans will take Duke star Zion Williamson at No.1 and consider trading the fourth overall pick, with several teams already expressing interest.
The New York Times reports Charlotte Hornets guard Kemba Walker is expected to be a top target in free agency for the Lakers in the wake of the deal for Davis.
Boston Celtics were also involved in separate talks with the Pelicans for Davis, ESPN reported earlier this week, and the Brooklyn Nets and Los Angeles Clippers had interest in Davis but didn’t make much progress in discussions with New Orleans.
Earlier this week, Davis’s agent, Rich Paul, who also represents the Lakers’ LeBron James, told Sports Illustrated a deal to Boston would have resulted in a one-year rental agreement before Davis enters free agency in July 2020.
The Lakers pursued 26-year-old Davis after Paul announced the big man wanted a trade last winter.
The 2.08-metre forward/centre was limited to 56 games last season because of injuries and averaged 25.9 points, 12.0 rebounds, 3.9 assists, 2.4 blocked shots and 1.6 steals.
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 was optimism the Davis deal would happen.
New Orleans have the benefit of starting over with Williamson as their centrepiece.
One of the lingering doubts for a Lakers-Pelicans match was whether Griffin valued Ingram and Hart more than Demps did when talks fizzled in February.