Anthony Davis a better fit on Lakers, not Celtics? Stephen A. Smith thinks so


Anthony Davis has a say in this too, you know.

Trade rumors surrounding the New Orleans Pelicans forward have resurfaced this week after ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski casually noted the Boston Celtics have been "hawking" Davis for years.

That nugget prompted subsequent reminders that the Lakers are very much interested in Davis, as well, with LeBron James even publicly endorsing a Los Angeles trade for the 25-year-old superstar.

It appears the battle lines have been drawn: L.A. versus Boston for the chance to land Davis. But if Davis had his pick -- all trade packages aside -- where should he want to go?

ESPN's Stephen A. Smith cut right to the chase Wednesday on "First Take," noting James' mere presence makes the Lakers the favorite.

"He should want to go to L.A.," Smith said. "The reality is, you put that tandem together in the sport of basketball, that could definitely mean championships."

Smith also believes Davis would have a tougher time making it out of the Eastern Conference if he joined the Celtics.

"You look at the Eastern Conference, if Anthony Davis were to go to Boston, obviously there's (the) Toronto (Raptors) to deal with this year," Smith said. "You don't know what's going to happen with Kawhi Leonard. Out West, Kevin Durant and the Golden State Warriors may stay together, or (Durant) may join forces with Kawhi Leonard as well (in Los Angeles)."

Stephen A. is operating under the assumption that Davis gets traded this season, which seems unlikely. Under that assumption, though, the Celtics would have to trade away Kyrie Irving to add Davis due to the Rose Rule, which Smith believes is another strike against Boston.

"And what it would require to get Anthony Davis to Boston -- because listen, Boston has talked about Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown being gone, but you'd also have to include Kyrie Irving because of the Rose Rule," Smith said. " ... So, you take all of those things into consideration, I think L.A. is the best place for him to go."

The Lakers do have the allure of LeBron and warmer weather. But even Smith admitted the Celtics have "better assets" to make a deal. That means Boston could keep more of its roster intact after trading for Davis and give the perennial All-Pro a stronger supporting cast.

Of course, this debate is all a moot point if Davis decides he wants to stay with the Pelicans, who have him under contract until 2021 with a player option after the 2019-20 season. But until he makes that decision, the hot takes will keep flying.

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