Anthony Davis, you're our only hope.
The "Anthony Davis to the Lakers" rumors have been rumbling for the better part of a year, but according to Las Vegas oddsmakers, those rumors may be coming to fruition very soon.
According to the oddsmakers at Caesars Palace Sportsbook, the Lakers are currently -500 to land Davis in a trade. For those that are not savvy on gambling lines, one would have to place a bet of $500 on Davis being traded to the Lakers in order to win just $100.
Those are massive odds, especially when you compare them to the second place team: the New York Knicks.
Caesars has the Knicks at +375, meaning a bet of $100 on New York would win you $375 should Davis be traded to the Big Apple.
The other 28 teams in the NBA are +1000, meaning if you're a fan of the Celtics, Nets, Clippers, or another team that has interest in Anthony Davis, you might want to place a small wager, because +1000 odds are enormous, and if recent history with trades regarding superstars is any indication, the Pelicans front office might chose to ship Davis to a team that isn't on his wish list.
Granted, the team that trades for Davis is taking a huge gamble themselves. They would have one-year to convince AD to stay, plus the added incentive of being able to offer him more money than any other team in free agency.
Those gambles have so far paid off for the Oklahoma City Thunder, who famously traded for Paul George in 2017, and the Toronto Raptors who traded for Kawhi Leonard, and are now one win away from their first championship in franchise history.
The final line, is the slim possibility that he is not traded, and stays with the Pelicans. Those odds are a colossal +4000, meaning a $100 bet would win you $4,000 if Davis is not traded and starts the season with New Orleans.
Davis and his agent, Rich Paul, recently met with Pelicans President of Basketball Operations, David Griffin, and reports coming out of that meeting have Davis still making it crystal clear that he has no intention of remaining in the Crescent City and would prefer to be traded to the Lakers or Knicks.
In the days that followed, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported that Griffin had not only spoken with multiple teams regarding a trade for Davis, but also listed what the Pelicans are looking for in return for the All-Star center.
According to Wojnarowski, the Pelicans are asking for a current All-Star caliber player, a young player with All-Star potential, and two first-round draft picks. These demands are of course on a sliding scale; meaning the higher the draft picks, the caliber of players included could be less than All-Star level, and if the player is a current All-Star talent, then the first-round picks could be lower.
Currently, in addition to the Knicks and Lakers, the Nets, Clippers, and Celtics have all inquired about Davis, but in a recent story for Sports Illustrated, Paul stated publicly that the Celtics, and any other team not named the Lakers or Knicks, would be trading for only one-year of Davis, and he will not sign an extension with that team.
"They can trade for him, but it’ll be for one year," Paul said in the story. "I mean: If the Celtics traded for Anthony Davis, we would go there and we would abide by our contractual [obligations] and we would go into free agency in 2020. I’ve stated that to them. But in the event that he decides to walk away and you give away assets? Don’t blame Rich Paul."
In the same article, Paul did nothing to hide the fact that he and his best friend and client, LeBron James, have been trying to direct Davis to the Lakers since January of this year.
In the article, Paul compares the Lakers to Jennifer Lopez, and says Davis should play for a team that has a long history of Hall of Fame centers from George Mikan to Wilt Chamberlain to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to Shaquille O'Neal.
"So now, when you add LeBron, that’s what? The cherry on top. LeBron’s 34 years old. Anthony Davis is 26. So when LeBron’s done playing, the Anthony Davis trade is still rolling. What better place to do it than L.A.?"
In the same story, Paul says that he is currently trying to help Davis find a home in Los Angeles closer to Staples Center, and that it needs to have a basketball court, a sauna, and a gym.
Another report says that the Lakers are not considered a top-tier destination for the superstar free agents like Kawhi Leonard, Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, Kemba Walker, and Kyrie Irving, so if Los Angeles wants to land another star to play alongside LeBron James, they will need to go all-in on Davis.
The leaked trade offers by the Lakers from February had the team willing to gut their entire roster outside of James to land Davis, which will likely be the case again, but now the team can include the No. 4 pick they received in the NBA Draft Lottery last month. A third team may also need to get involved to make all parties happy.
ESPN reported on Tuesday that the Lakers are considered the "leader in the clubhouse" to land Davis, and that the team was making progress on getting another team involved for a multi-team deal.
The 2019 NBA Draft is just over a week away, and the NBA Finals will be over on Sunday at the latest. With that said, expect Davis to be traded to the Lakers (or any other team) within the next week.
The Rich Paul and LeBron James power play might just work out after all.