According to a report by Sam Amick of The Athletic, the extra amount of money that the Pelicans can offer to Davis over the other 29 teams in the NBA will not factor into his decision on whether or not to stay in New Orleans.
"According to a source with knowledge of Davis' thinking, he does not see the extra $87.3 million that New Orleans is expected to offer in a five-year, $239.5 million supermax extension this summer as a factor in his eventual decision."
Speculation of where Davis' future lies has ramped up in the last several days. The Los Angeles Lakers' LeBron James added to the discussion by admitting that it would be great to team up with Davis in Los Angeles. The fact that the two players meet in Los Angeles on Friday night (10:30 p.m. ET -- watch on fuboTV with the NBA League Pass extension) as the Pelicans visit the Lakers just furthers that storyline.
Amick makes it rather clear that because of the Pelicans' inability to build a contender around Davis -- his main desire -- that the only bargaining chip that they have in retaining their All-Star big man is to offer him more money. Amick explains in further detail:
"The Pelicans, per the league's collective bargaining agreement, are the only team that can offer a five-year deal (others are capped at four) that takes up 35 percent of the team's salary cap (others are capped at 30 percent) with eight percent annual raises (other teams are capped at five percent). Davis can be a free agent in the summer of 2020, but LeBron's widely known interest in joining forces with him before then is front and center on Friday night as New Orleans plays at his Lakers."
Among the other teams that would be interested in acquiring Davis are none other than the Boston Celtics. Amick explains that the Celtics would be out of the Davis sweepstakes until the summer due to CBA rules.
"While Boston is widely known to want to land Davis, they can't do so this season without parting ways with free-agent-to-be Kyrie Irving because the league's rules mandate that teams can only have one player who was given a Designated Rookie contract that they acquired via trade. Teams can have two players that they signed, or one they signed and one they acquired, just not two players acquired (full breakdown here). And considering the Celtics' dream is to pair Irving with Davis, the obvious conclusion here is that Boston is sidelined in the AD sweepstakes until this summer."
What is there to take away from all of this verbiage? That Davis wants to play for a contender and that there are two clubs mainly in the running for the 25-year-old as of now -- the Lakers and the Celtics. The Lakers have the advantage over the Celtics in landing Davis as soon as possible, if they're willing and able to come up with a trade package before the Feb. 7 deadline. That would likely require Los Angeles giving up their young assets, something that they may not be willing to do.
With the Pelicans entering Friday's game in Los Angeles with a losing record, it's looking more and more likely that New Orleans will have to move Davis via trade -- because if they don't, they risk losing him for absolutely nothing through free agency.