With the New Orleans Pelicans’ loss against the Brooklyn Nets dropping the team to a 17-22 record and 14th out of 15 teams in the Western Conference, the trade rumors surrounding their prized big man, Anthony Davis, don’t appear to be going away anytime soon. Speaking to reporters after the game, Davis didn’t hide his disappointment over the Pelicans’ current situation and how poorly they played on defense against the Nets. With these comments and New Orleans’ ongoing struggles in mind, ESPN basketball analyst Jay Williams recently suggested that it might not be much longer before Davis demands to be traded.
On Thursday’s episode of ESPN’s Get Up, Williams discussed the reasons why he believes Davis will “force somebody’s hand” and ask to be traded to another team, despite how Pelicans management has insisted that they have no plans of dealing him elsewhere. Williams, who had previously starred at Duke University and played for the Chicago Bulls in the NBA, stressed that the Pelicans’ defense has been a major issue for the team, despite the presence of Davis and Jrue Holiday, but added that the “bigger point” might be Davis’ need to play alongside another superstar-level player.
“In order to win in today’s NBA, for a guy like AD, you have to be partnered with another top-10 player,” said Williams.
After mentioning how the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers won NBA championships over the past four years with two superstars leading the way, Williams opined that Holiday, despite being a “very good player,” isn’t even a top-20 player in the NBA, and likely won’t win a championship as the second offensive option behind Anthony Davis.
“I don’t see [Pelicans general manager] Dell Demps or [head coach] Alvin Gentry or anybody in that organization attracting a top-10 player to New Orleans.”
— NESN (@NESN) January 3, 2019
With co-host Mike Greenberg bringing up Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James’ recent positive comments about Davis, Williams posited that the Lakers would indeed be the “best option” if the former first overall draft pick does indeed ask to be traded. He predicted good chemistry between Davis and James in the event they become teammates, especially if both superstars play in a lineup that has several good shooters to complement them.
“Those are two guys that could win you multiple championships,” Williams said, later on adding that the Lakers could have an edge over the Boston Celtics, assuming Kyrie Irving does not re-sign with the team in the summer of 2019.
As quoted by Fadeaway World, Anthony Davis openly acknowledged how everyone within the New Orleans Pelicans was “frustrated” after their loss to the Nets, and complained about how his team allowed a lot of layups and open three-point shots and didn’t communicate effectively on defense. He was, however, cagey when he was asked whether he sees himself playing for a better team. Per the New Orleans Advocate, Davis simply answered “I don’t,” then asked reporters to move on to the next question.