The Los Angeles Lakers’ pursuit of New Orleans Pelicans star Anthony Davis and the New York Knicks’ trade of Kristaps Porzingis to the Dallas Mavericks left behind “a trail of anger and resentment among teams from coast to coast,” according to Sean Deveney of Sporting News.
The Lakers reportedly offered about half their team, including their entire young core, for Davis. The Boston Celtics, of course, were also in on the talks — but can’t trade for Davis until the offseason because of the Rose Rule — which would forbid them to have both Davis and Kyrie Irving on the team at the same time.
Davis is represented by Rich Paul, the same agent for LeBron James. Both Paul and James badly want Davis in LA. And the Celtics apparently believe those two are trying to hinder others’ efforts through the press.
“The Celtics were annoyed by the story of Irving having eyes for New York, not because of Irving, but because they felt the story was planted by Davis’ agent, Rich Paul, in order to scare the Pelicans into thinking Boston would back off making a trade offer for Davis in July if Irving left,” Deveney wrote.
He later added, “The Pels were angry — and perhaps a bit spiteful — that Paul and the Lakers tried to bully them into changing their timeframe. In another effort to undermine a potential summer offer from the Celtics, Anthony Davis Sr. was trotted out to publicly criticize Boston and declare his son would never play there.”
While Paul has come under fire, many believe he is the league’s best agent and will go to great lengths to meet his client’s wishes, especially when it comes to top money-maker James.
Irving will enter free agency at the end of the season. Davis will enter in 2020 after telling the Pelicans he will not sign an extension with the team. So the good times/bad times of the trade deadline are likely to carry over into the offseason — when the Lakers and Celtics go to battle over Davis yet again.
Meanwhile, the Porzingis deal created noise about the Knicks’ cap space, and summer ability to sign multiple big name free agents (with Irving and Golden State Warriors star Kevin Durant being the names mentioned most).
“Even before the Knicks traded Porzingis last week, speculation had simmered that Durant, also a free agent this summer, could be headed to the Golden State exit and that the Knicks would be the top destination,” Deveney wrote.