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Pelicans’ David Griffin downplays idea of draft, any deadline for Anthony Davis trade

Magic Pelicans Basketball

New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis (23) is introduced before NBA basketball game against the Orlando Magic in New Orleans, Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019. (AP Photo/Tyler Kaufman)


This is all part of the spin, the efforts to gain leverage in the Anthony Davis trade talks going on.

Yesterday the spin came from two sides of this saga. First, there was a report saying the Pelicans are interested in multi-team deals to maximize their return for Davis. That was countered by a report clearly leaked from the Davis camp saying he was narrowing his focus to the Lakers and Knicks. It was all about trying to gain leverage in the talks going on between the Pelicans and, I was told, more than half the league (some talks are far more serious than others). There’s a sense from teams the Pelicans would like to get a trade made before the draft (even if they can’t execute it until July).

Now comes the spin that pushes back on that perceived timeline via Andrew Lopez, who covers the Pelicans for the Times-Picayune.

This isn’t that hard to sort out. Would the Pelicans like to get a deal done by the draft a week from Thursday? Yes. Is a smart GM like David Griffin going to treat that as a hard-and-fast deadline and take a lesser offer then just to get it over with? Of course not. He has to say there is no deadline to keep some leverage.

Here’s update on those trade talks, at least as it pertains to the Knicks.

As we had told you before, the Pelicans are not in love with the Knicks’ offer, which is in line behind at least the Celtics and Lakers. So the Knicks are talking to teams, reports Marc Berman of the New York Post.

According to a source, the Pelicans need a third team with the Knicks in a trade more than any other potential club in the mix. Pelicans brass doesn’t find all the Knicks’ young assets attractive enough for a package...

Kevin Knox is the closest to a potential All-Star, but he went through a roller-coaster rookie season. According to a source, the Pelicans consider the Celtics to have the best young assets.

This has been the sense around the league all along, the question is with Kyrie Irving likely leaving Boston as a free agent, how many of those assets will they throw in?

Nobody knows how this is going to shake out, and the Kevin Durant injury complicates all of it.

What we do know is everybody will keep spinning things trying to gain leverage.