Anthony Davis Trade: Will Lakers Land All-Star Before Deadline?

Anthony Davis, New Orleans Pelicans
Anthony Davis, #23 of the New Orleans Pelicans during a 121-117 win over the LA Clippers at Staples Center on January 14 in Los Angeles, California. Harry How/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Lakers are stepping up their pursuit of Anthony Davis, but face a race against the clock to push a deal through before Thursday's trade deadline.

While the five-time All-Star has told the New Orleans Pelicans he wishes to be traded, the franchise is seemingly in no rush to accept an offer.

On Monday, ESPN reported that the 16-time NBA champions put forward a substantial trade package for Davis, which included Kyle Kuzma, Brandon Ingram and Lonzo Ball, as well as two first-round picks.

New Orleans is yet to counter the offer, but the broadcaster suggested Pelicans general manager Dell Demps is likely to demand four first-round and second-round picks.

Davis, who cannot become a free agent until July 2020, requested a trade through his agent, Rich Paul, last week. Initially, it was suggested the first overall pick of the 2012 draft would be happy to see out the remainder of the season in New Orleans before being traded.

The scenario, however, appears to have changed, but potential suitors were put off by Davis' alleged reluctance to commit to signing a new contract this summer.

ESPN reported that the 25-year-old had no plans to sign an extension this summer and would instead explore the free agent market next year.

However, he has since revisited his stance and opened the door to four teams. According to The Athletic, the power forward has told the Pelicans he would be willing to sign long-term deals with the Lakers, the Los Angeles Clippers, the New York Knicks and the Milwaukee Bucks.

Anthony Davis’ representatives have informed the Pelicans that he would sign long-term with the Lakers, Knicks, Bucks and Clippers if he is traded, league sources tell @TheAthleticNBA.

— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) February 4, 2019

The Lakers have been considered among the frontrunners in the race to Davis largely on the basis that he would join forces with another of Paul's clients in Los Angeles, LeBron James.

The Knicks, meanwhile, appeared ready to launch a significant bid for Davis when they traded Kristaps Porzingis to the Dallas Mavericks last week.

New York will have north of $70 million in salary cap space this summer, enough to accommodate two supermax salaries.

The Knicks, who have long been expected to go all-out for Kevin Durant in the summer, sounded out the Pelicans before trading Porzingis but have not negotiated since, as per ESPN.

The four-team list Davis has given the Pelicans does not, however, include the Boston Celtics. The Celtics have arguably the largest pool assets to build a trade package with, but cannot trade for Davis until July 1.

Under NBA rules, the Celtics cannot have Davis' and Kyrie Irving's contracts both on the roster, under the designated rookie exception.

Irving, however, has a player option this summer and could opt to explore the free agent market. Last week, Yahoo Sports suggested the 26-year-old was increasingly unlikely to re-sign with Boston in the summer.

However, on Monday, ESPN indicated Celtics' general manager Danny Ainge remains eager to pair Davis and Irving together in Boston.