With the trade deadline approaching, the New Orleans Pelicans have made it clear that they are not in a rush to deal Anthony Davis just yet, as it has become news that the Boston Celtics are now the leaders to land AD.
On Wednesday (Jan. 30), ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reports that the team feels that it is "very unlikely" they will find a favorable deal for the superstar center before the trade window closes on Feb. 7.
"The message that’s been given out to teams is, ‘Heym if you want to make an offer, go ahead. We’ll put it up on our board.’ But New Orleans is really focused on the long play here with these trade talks with Anthony Davis," Woj claims. "The trade deadline is obviously next Thursday (Feb. 7). It is very unlikely that they’re going to be engaged seriously enough with anybody to do a trade by then."
Throughout the trade talks, the Pelicans have stayed true to the fact they will not be rushed into moving Davis. However, Wojnarowski claims this became more of a focus when Boston entered the conversation.
"Essentially, having Boston in the bidding, who is the team with the most draft picks, several outstanding young players and a really motivated team to try to acquire Anthony Davis, it only elevates everyone else’s offers in the trade process, and Boston is going to be there," Wojnarowski said.
"I think, Boston has sent a message to the Pelicans, ‘Be patient. Wait for us, we are going to be in this and we’re going to be willing to talk about essentially everyone on our roster outside of Kyrie Irving.’ So, I think right now it’s put New Orleans very much in a holding pattern, and it’s really dampened the possibility of the [Los Angeles] Lakers being able to do what they’d love to do... get a deal done prior to the trade deadline."
Irving has been vocal about his desire to play with Davis, who is one of his close friends. This, combined with the team's need to be a powerhouse in the now LeBron-less Eastern Conference, might be why they are putting all the chips on the table. However, due to the "Rose Rule," this enticing offer cannot be made until the summer. As a result, it is unlikely Davis will get a new jersey this season.