After the New Orleans Pelicans fell to the Lakers last Friday in Los Angeles, LeBron James and Anthony Davis met for a postgame meal.
Speculation has swirled to whether Davis will leave the Pelicans after next season for LA, and James didn't do anything to put a stop to it.
New story: With Anthony Davis playing in Los Angeles this week, what does LeBron James think about the Lakers potentially trading for AD to make L.A. his permanent home? "That would be amazing," LeBron told ESPN. "That would be incredible" https://t.co/c104Fi8A47— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) December 19, 2018
Amid those events, the NBA issued a warning to all teams about the league's anti-tampering policy. In a story reported by ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, the NBA said, "Employment contracts are to be respected and conduct that interferes with contractual employment relationships is prohibited."
The statement continued:
Teams should be entitled to focus their efforts on the competition this season with the players they have under contract, without having to divert attention or resources to conduct or speculation regarding the potential destinations of those players in future seasons once their contracts expire.
This is not the first time the Lakers have prompted a tampering issue. Last year, Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson was fined $500,000 for tampering with Paul George.
Celtics fans did not have a huge stake in previous tampering instances with the Lakers, but they have a realistic chance of landing Davis via trade.
If Davis declines a contract extension from the Pelicans this summer, New Orleans could try to trade him before losing him for nothing at the end of next season. Boston would likely have the best trade package to offer depending on who they'd be willing to part with.
Any team trying to trade for Davis could become hesitant if he makes it clear he will sign with the Lakers next summer, so this warning is good news for the Celtics.
The NBA can't keep the players from talking to each other, but small market teams are growing increasingly concerned and frustrated with the attitude towards their players.
It's New Orleans' problem today, and a problem with a different player tomorrow for the rest of us," one Eastern Conference GM told ESPN. "It's open season on small markets and our players.
Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.