Anthony Davis was highly coveted during the summer after it became clear the New Orleans Pelicans were willing to give into the player’s demand for a trade. The Boston Celtics were expected to be leading the chase but were forced to pull out after Davis’ agent Rich Paul made it clear to them that it will be an expensive one-year rental as his client is not interested in remaining in Boston in the long-term.

The Pelicans were seeking a combination of young players and draft picks to allow Davis to leave but after Paul spoke to Celtics general manager Danny Ainge, they were reluctant to part with too many young players. Davis would have been an expensive rental, especially since he was clear he will walk away when he enters free agency next summer and Paul was unwilling to do business without being transparent.

"The last thing you want to do is put a GM in a situation where he trades away an asset and then the guy walks out the door. Like, you can't do business that way. So it's not really a hard conversation to have,” Paul told ESPN’s Dave McMenamin.

"And I don't think it stopped Danny Ainge from trying. It's just that maybe he didn't have the deal [he wanted]. He wasn't willing to give up the young players, which I don't blame him. I wouldn't give them up either if the guy is not going to re-sign."

Anthony Davis Lakers Anthony Davis celebrates after scoring a basket in his Lakers debut. Photo: Silver Screen and Roll

It was no secret that Davis was keen to join either the Los Angeles Lakers or New York Knicks. Pelicans executive vice-president David Griffin revealed that Paul was very effective in wiping out the competition and making a clear path for the Los Angeles franchise.

"Rich had done such an effective job of smoking out all of the competition for the Lakers that we were left with the sense that the best deal is going to very likely come from them," Griffin said. "And if we can get X-Y-Z, we have to execute the deal."

Davis joined the Lakers prior to the 2019 NBA Draft after the latter parted ways with three members of their young core – Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart and Lonzo Ball – while also handing the Pelicans future draft picks. The Lakers, however, are hoping they have a successful campaign in 2019-20, which will convince the All-Star power forward to commit his long-term future to the purple and gold.