Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN is foreseeing a Kawhi Leonard-liked ripple effect on the ongoing trade talks surrounding New Orleans Pelicans star player Anthony Davis.

The veteran NBA insider disclosed on ESPN’s SportsCenter on Tuesday that big market teams in Los Angeles and New York are already engaged in trade talks with the Pelicans in attempt to acquire Davis before next week’s NBA Draft.

Wojnarowski also revealed that there’s an increasing likelihood small-market teams could join the Antony Davis sweepstakes given the fact that NBA GMs and executives have seen the monumental turnaround Kawhi Leonard has brought in Toronto in one year span.

“The two Los Angeles Teams, the two New York teams are both having engaged with New Orleans. But one thing to watch for is kind of Kawhi factor in this Anthony Davis trade talks, Wojnarowski stated on ESPN. “Teams around the league have seen the impact Kawhi had in one year in Toronto as a rental, and I think you are going to see a market here of teams in smaller markets not preferred destination for Anthony Davis who are going to make a run at New Orleans to get Davis” he added.

Small-market teams taking a huge risk

The Raptors traded for Kawhi Leonard last summer despite the risk of the All-Star forward bolting out after just one year. While it remains a possibility Leonard will leave Toronto this summer, the Raptors front-office led by team president of basketball operations Masai Ujiri are becoming more confident that they can retain the service of their top star, especially if they go on to win the championship this week.

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With the Paul George and hopefully the Kawhi Leonard trade serving as the precedence that one-year rental deal is worth a shot in today’s NBA, Wojnarowski is expecting more small market franchises taking that jump for a chance at a generational NBA talent.

Potential small-market teams who are believed one superstar player away from winning a championship are the Portland Trail Blazers, Washington Wizards, Philadelphia 76ers, Denver Nuggets, and Utah Jazz.

Among these teams, the Blazers and Sixers have the right assets to woe Pelicans top executive David Griffin. They have an All-Star caliber player, a bunch of high-upside youngsters and a bevy of draft picks that can suffice New Orleans’ trade demands.

Celtics, Los Angeles, New York teams pushing for AD

Although Wojnarowski’s recent report is serving an enticing proposition for small-market franchises, there’s no mistaking that the big market teams remain the front-runners in the Anthony Davis trade talks.

The New York Knicks, Brooklyn Nets, Los Angeles Clippers and Los Angeles Lakers have all engaged in a dialogue with Griffin, earnestly trying to hammer a deal before the NBA Draft.

Marc Beerman of the New York Post reported the Knicks have dangled their young players in the trade talks but the Pelicans don’t find their package attractive at all. Pursuing a trade for Davis would now require the Knicks to hook up with a third team to supply the Pelicans with the assets they demand.

Wojnarowski indicated in his June 10 report that the Nets have also inquired for Anthony Davis, but again they would need partner teams to provide an enticing trade package.

As for the Clippers and Lakers, these two L.A teams have been keeping in touch with the Pelicans front-office in an attempt to come up with the package that can seal the deal. Woj reported the Lakers are now willing to surrender former No.2 overall picks Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram and the No.4 overall pick in this year’s draft for Davis, while the Clippers are likely to counter with a package surrounding promising point guard Gilgeous-Alexander.

The Celtics, on the other hand, possess the assets comprised of outstanding young players (Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum) and high draft picks, yet they are iffy to engage fully since they are not sure about the future of incoming free agent Kyrie Irving.

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