There are plenty of NBA trade rumors going around regarding New Orleans Pelicans star Anthony Davis, but Stephen Jackson believes his decision is clear-cut. The former NBA player recently stopped by on ESPN’s SportsCenter and gave his thoughts on the matter involving the All-Star possibly seeking a trade out of New Orleans. Davis is still wrapped up in a deal through the next several seasons, but as seen in the recent NBA climate, players have no issue when it comes to requesting to be traded. Still, Jackson had plenty to say about how New Orleans and Davis should see the situation.
When Jackson spoke with Cari Champion on SportsCenter, he told her that he thinks other guys on the New Orleans Pelicans will need to step up now that DeMarcus Cousins is hurt. In addition, Jackson suggested that Davis needs to regain his role as the “Superman” of the team. Davis was holding down that role prior to the team making a trade to bring in Cousins from the Sacramento Kings, but an unfortunate injury to Cousins ahead of the NBA All-Star Game has the team looking to him once again. The team is currently 31-26 and holding onto the eighth spot in the Western Conference. As Davis participated in the recent NBA All-Star Game, he paid tribute to his injured teammate.
During the SportsCenter segment, Champion brought up comments made by ESPN‘s Tim Legler last week that suggested the Pelicans might need to determine if “something’s missing” from Davis’ game due to his inefficiencies in the fourth quarter. He had also mentioned that Davis would need to prove he can shoulder the load and help the team get past opponents like Utah and the L.A. Clippers in the playoffs. Jackson said he disagrees that it’s all on Davis like that, reminding everyone how Cleveland just rebooted their roster to help out superstar LeBron James.
With that said, Stephen Jackson believes that Anthony Davis has one option and that is to stay put on the New Orleans Pelicans. He said with DeMarcus Cousins still on the team, this can be a good team for years to come. Jackson went on to say they’d be good, “with other pieces added.” However, he said staying on the Pelicans is the best option for Davis since they love him in New Orleans and it’s not often you get to be on the same team with a player like “Boogie” Cousins.
Davis, who has been with the franchise since the 2012-13 NBA season, has averaged 23 points, 10.2 rebounds, and 2.3 blocks per game. In the current season, he’s averaging 27.4 points and grabbing 10.7 rebounds to go with 2.4 assists and 2.1 blocks. He went on to finish fifth in the NBA MVP Award voting back in the 2014-15 season when he helped lead the team to the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference.
It was mentioned by ESPN‘s Legler that Anthony Davis currently ranks No. 14 in fourth-quarter scoring while his teammate DeMarcus Cousins was ranked sixth in the NBA. So clearly, Cousins will be missed by the Pelicans for the remainder of this season. Still, Davis has shown himself to be an elite player capable of getting his team into the postseason as he did several seasons ago. The addition of Cousins midway through last season was New Orleans’ effort to keep Davis happy, and injuries are an unfortunate part of the game. Now, Davis will have to do his best in Cousins’ absence, and the team will need to adjust its focus for the moment.
With all that said, Davis is going to be under contract with the Pelicans through the 2020-21 NBA season, per NESN. So that gives Anthony Davis and New Orleans plenty of time to evaluate how things are going there and consider their future options.