Anthony Davis Requests Trade From New Orleans Pelicans, Could Join Lakers Or Sixers
The chase for New Orleans Pelicans star Anthony Davis has begun. Davis and his agent Rich Paul announced Monday that the five-time All-Star and No. 1 overall pick wants to be traded “to a team that allows him a chance to win consistently and compete for a championship.”
Executives around the league expected Davis to bolt from New Orleans after his contract was up. Some pointed to the trend of stars forcing their way out of teams through trades and the emergence of “pre-agency.” Under the current collective bargaining agreement (CBA), Davis can only sign a supermax contract with his new team. And because he’s a star with one year left on his deal, he’ll have a strong say in where he’ll be shipped off to.
All signs point to Davis joining LeBron James in Los Angeles as a Laker. Paul and his management group, Klutch Sports, represent both of the stars. Davis also recently bought a $7.5 million home in Westlake Village, an L.A. suburb. Earlier in the season, as the Pelicans hovered at five games below .500, Davis compared his time with the franchise to Kevin Garnett‘s in Minnesota. Garnett stayed around on a losing team plagued by management issues before eventually joining the Boston Celtics. He reached two NBA finals and won one championship.
By requesting a trade now, Davis takes further control of his legacy. This was a planned announcement. With James out for the longest stretch of his career, the Lakers’ young core and trade assets were given a chance to boost their value. The timing also prevents the Celtics from making an offer for Davis. In order to take on the forward, they’d need to ship off point guard Kyrie Irving, their “Rose rule” signing. That’s incredibly unlikely. But they can’t wait until July 1, after the NBA Finals, to complete the trade.
Davis has intentionally positioned himself to either end up in Los Angeles or leave New Orleans with nothing. Other than the Lakers, the Philadelphia 76ers could make a trade. Most likely, Jimmy Butler, Markelle Fultz and a first-round draft pick are going to make up the offer. There’s also speculation that point guard Jrue Holiday will return to Philly. The team needs depth and Holiday was a fan favorite during his time with the team.
Davis is currently averaging 29.3 points and 13.3 rebounds per game. He’s expected to be named an All-Star for the sixth time in his career. Last month, New Orleans refused to consider trading Davis. Now the February 7 trade deadline is growing closer and Davis will leave eventually.