LeBron James thinks trade rumors have been 'tough' on young Lakers

Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant and forward Pau Gasol

Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant and forward Pau Gasol

The Lakers have been adamant that they will not get into a bidding war this summer with the Boston Celtics, who are another team that is interested in Davis and has plenty of draft picks to package in a deal, including nine in the first round over the next three years. However, there's no guarantee the Pelicans will play him again this season, even if he isn't traded.

The Lakers have been actively trying to acquire Davis from the Pelicans, but according to a report from ESPN, New Orleans is nearly looking to be "overcompensated" in a deal to trade him before the deadline. It's unclear, though, if New Orleans is on board with that plan. Paul has worked to keep the process moving toward a perception of inevitability on Davis' preferred future destination, the Lakers, where he could join another Klutch client, LeBron James.

Still, a dark horse team could jump into the fray by the deadline Thursday, as well as a team like the Bucks or Clippers, two more squads that Davis listed as preferred destinations yesterday.

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It was the first contest Davis was healthy enough to rejoin the team since sustaining the injury on January 18, sources said.

In any case, the Celtics are gearing up for what has the looks of an arduous playoff run and could be trying to acquire a minor player or two that the Pelicans would like as well. Although the Celtics can't be sure about Irving's forthcoming decision in July, they remain confident that he'll choose to stay in Boston, sources said. The best chance Davis has to force his way to the Lakers is by creating a level of chaos and uncertainty in the marketplace about his privately stated wishes. Odds are though, the Pelicans will take their time and continue letting the offers come to them into the offseason.

As usual at this point in the National Basketball Association season, a report like this could easily be leaked by an organization like the Lakers to try to gain some leverage back in the negotiations. Alec Burks, who has been linked to recent trade talks, added 21 for Cleveland.

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It's been an interesting few months for Boston and the shift in the locker room vibe became noticeable once Davis made his trade request.

The Pelicans are being especially careful with Anthony Davis.

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