Anthony Davis requests trade, has no plans to sign long-term extension with Pelicans, says agent Rich Paul
Davis is eligible to become a free agent in the summer of 2020
Here’s more from Wojnarowski:
“Anthony wants to be traded to a team that allows him a chance to win consistently and compete for a championship,” Paul told ESPN. “Anthony wanted to be honest and clear with his intentions and that’s the reason for informing them of this decision now. That’s in the best interests of both Anthony’s and the organization’s future.”
The trade deadline is Feb. 7, and according to Wojnarowski’s report, the Pelicans have not expressed any interest in trading him midseason. Davis is eligible to become a free agent in the summer of 2020.
After the Pelicans made the playoffs and swept the Trail Blazers last season, it appeared that they might have the means to entice Davis to stay with a supermax extension offer. However, the Pelicans sit 13th in the Western Conference at 22-28 and earlier in the season Davis bemoaned that he has to “ ” for them to have a chance to win.
The Pelicans are 2-7 in games in which Davis hasn’t played, and they’re 20-21 with him. Although Davis said mere days ago via Shams Charania that he wasn’t at the breaking point to request a trade just yet, instead opting to examine career in the offseason, he hasn’t played in the last four games. The Pelicans have dropped three straight.
Although the Lakers are 26-24, ninth in the Western Conference, they’re the team generating the most talk around a Davis trade. They have a bevy of young assets that they are reportedly willing to part with to acquire a superstar, and LeBron James. Although the Western Conference is as loaded as ever — making this far from the path of least resistance — ever since Davis signed with Paul (James’ agent), the Lakers have been cited as a potential destination.
If the Pelicans want to bid their time, they can wait until the offseason when the Celtics can trade for Davis. The Celtics have young players like Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, although Brown has been inconsistent this season. The Celtics, however, can’t trade for Davis until July 1, as they traded for Irving as a designated player. NBA teams can only have one designated player on their roster who they traded for at a time.
Davis himself is averaging 29.3 points, 13.3 rebounds and his PER is 31 this year — all above his career averages. Davis has been with the Pelicans since he was drafted No. 1 overall in 2012. Since then, the team’s best finish came last year when they lost in five games to the Warriors in the second series of the postseason.
According to The New York Times’ Marc Stein, Davis doesn’t have a preferred destination at the moment. However, as Stein notes, with Davis’ contract expiring in 2020 he’ll have input on where he goes. The team that trades for him must at least believe that they can re-sign with them at the end of this contract, otherwise he may not be worth the king’s ransom the Pelicans will command.
According to Stein, Paul said that the Pelicans “haven’t said much, but we wanted to do the right thing to let them know by the deadline so they could do what’s best for the organization going forward.”
The worst-case scenario for the team trading for Davis would be about a year and a half of the superstar. That means that a team in the playoff picture this year and in good shape for next year would be the most likely to want him, even if there is uncertainty about whether or not he would re-sign. The Pelicans have about a week and a half to make a move, unless they opt to wait for the offseason.
Per Wojnarowski, it’s expected that nearly every team in the NBA will try to make a move for Davis. The Celtics could even agree to a deal in principle, but it couldn’t be completed until July 1. The Lakers and Celtics will likely engage in the most fierce battle for Davis. The 25-year-old Davis is still missing time for a fracture in his finger — he’s expected to miss another week or two — but teams looking to make a run this year will assume the risk.
Agent: Anthony Davis tells New Orleans that he wants a trade
Anthony Davis wants out of New Orleans.
And the NBA might soon see a blockbuster trade to come together.
The five-time All-Star has told the Pelicans that he wants to be traded to a championship-contending team and will not sign an extension with New Orleans, agent Rich Paul told The Associated Press on Monday.
ESPN first reported Davis’ demand to be traded to a contender. It is a move that will resonate around the league, one that will have most — if not all — teams trying to see how they can put together a package good enough for the Pelicans to send Davis their way.
Davis is having the best season of his career, averaging 29.3 points and 13.3 rebounds per game. He’ll almost certainly become a six-time All-Star later this week when the NBA announces the full rosters for this year’s game that will be played Feb. 17 in Charlotte.
The Pelicans did not have any immediate comment. They next play Tuesday at Houston.
Davis’ future has long been in question. He’s an elite superstar on a team that hasn’t gotten past the second round of the playoffs since he’s been in New Orleans — and in four of his first six full seasons, the Pelicans didn’t qualify for the postseason at all. They entered Monday 13th in the Western Conference standings, six games out of the final playoff spot with 32 games remaining.
His telling New Orleans that he wants out is the latest power move by a star player who wants to get traded, following a path now similar to what Kawhi Leonard did when he wanted to be traded by San Antonio and what Paul George did when he decided it was time to move on from Indiana. Telling the Pelicans that he won’t re-sign with them provides a blunt message: Move me, or lose me for nothing.
But New Orleans, which controls Davis’ contract through the 2019-20 season, has been steadfast for months: The Pelicans have no desire to move their best player, who is in line to sign a $240 million, five-year extension in 2020.
“We’re not trading him,” Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry said last month, one of many times he’s addressed the topic. “I can say that to the world. We’re not going to trade him, no matter what. That’s not an option.”
Still, trade chatter has ramped up this season, especially after Los Angeles Lakers All-Star LeBron James — who is represented by Paul, just as Davis is — included the New Orleans star on a list of players that he would love to play with. James’ comments were construed in some circles as campaigning for Davis.
Boston would almost certainly be a place that makes sense, since the Celtics are a contender and have more than enough assets to make a good deal for New Orleans. But the Celtics cannot trade for Davis under NBA rules until July 1, unless they also trade away Kyrie Irving — which likely won’t happen. Irving is a factor because of what’s known as the Rose Rule, the one that says NBA teams cannot trade for more than one player who has signed an extension.
The Celtics could sign Irving in July and then trade for Davis. But until then, unless they move Irving, Davis won’t be in Boston.
That would point to the Lakers as another possible destination for a trade. The Lakers, right now, aren’t necessarily a contender. But they have James, which probably means they’re attractive to Davis as well. James shrugged off the notion he did anything illicit, saying it’s just common sense that he would like to play with elite players like Davis.
“Come on, guys,” James told reporters last month. “It’s not rocket science.”
A year ago at this time, the Pelicans had perhaps the most dominant frontcourt in the NBA with Davis lining up with DeMarcus Cousins. Then Cousins tore his Achilles, and wound up signing this past summer with Golden State.
It has not been a good month for New Orleans sports fans.
Saints fans are still reeling from a non-call for pass interference last week that played a major role in their team losing the NFC championship game to the Los Angeles Rams and being denied a Super Bowl berth.
And now, the news only gets worse with Davis saying he wants out.