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Rumor: Pelicans’ David Griffin using Lakers as leverage to get better deal from Celtics for Anthony Davis

David Griffin, Anthony Davis

New Orleans Pelicans superstar Anthony Davis is officially on the market, and Pelicans executive vice president of basketball operations David Griffin has already begun with the posturing.

Appearing on ESPN, NBA reporter Brian Windhorst thinks Griffin is leveraging trade overtures form the Los Angeles Lakers to potentially raise the price for the Boston Celtics to get a deal done:

When the Pelicans initially rebuffed the Lakers at the February trade deadline, the assumption was that they were willing for the Rose rule to expire so that they could engage in trade talks with the Celtics.

Boston would be able to offer possibly the most appealing player in any deal (Jayson Tatum) along with someone like Jaylen Brown and a host of first-round considerations.

However, with the Lakers landing the No. 4 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, they now have the kind of assets to challenge Boston on any deal for Davis. The other element, however, is that Griffin likely would prefer to trade Davis to an Eastern Conference team.

The Celtics are in an increasingly tough position. All indications point to Kyrie Irving signing with the Brooklyn Nets, and Rich Paul has suggested that his client, Anthony Davis, would not sign an extension with the Celtics, particularly in Irving’s absence.

If Boston ramps up the offer, they might risk giving away too many assets with absolutely no guarantee that Davis will be in the fold for the long haul.

Griffin is likely selling very high on Tatum, though he could do much worse than landing a talent like Brandon Ingram along with the No. 4 pick in the draft, and likely more.