The Anthony Davis trade saga just went from interesting to fascinating.
Tuesday's 2019 NBA Draft Lottery saw the best asset to lure Davis from the New Orleans Pelicans go to ... the New Orleans Pelicans, who now can draft Zion Williamson at No. 1 overall.
That begs an obvious follow-up question: Will the Pelicans still trade Davis to a team like the Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Lakers or New York Knicks, or keep AD around to pair him with Zion?
According to Bleacher Report's Ken Berger, New Orleans executive vice president of basketball operations David Griffin is pushing hard for the latter.
"Griff was never going to trade AD. That's why he got the job," a rival general manager told Berger on Tuesday night.
Per Berger, another executive confirmed a report from ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski that Griffin "spent the hours after the lottery scouring the league for players to pair with Davis, not seeking scenarios to trade him."
That's not ideal for the Celtics, who at one point were considered favorites to land Davis in a trade and still have arguably the best assets to get a deal done, Kyrie Irving's uncertain future notwithstanding.
But here's the good news for Boston: Davis reportedly still wants out of New Orleans, and a person close to the Pelicans superstar told Berger that Davis' stance hasn't changed since the Pelicans secured the No. 1 pick. (Another silver lining for the C's: The Knicks and Lakers both didn't get the No. 1 overall pick, which would have significantly boosted their odds of acquiring Davis in a trade.)
What the top pick gives Griffin, though, is significant leverage in Davis trade talks. Even if Davis wants out, Williamson at least gives him some reason to stay, so Griffin can stand pat unless another team makes him an offer too good to pass up.
The Pelicans winning the lottery is a juicy plot twist in the Davis sweepstakes, which remain murky as ever as free agency approaches.
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