Monday morning saw the news that Anthony Davis, the star center, has formally requested a trade from the New Orleans Pelicans, the team for which he’s played for his entire NBA career. The report came from ESPN‘s Adrian Wojnarowski, who stated that Davis will not sign a contract extension with the Pelicans once his current deal expires following next season, and was formally requesting a trade.
“Anthony wants to be traded to a team that allows him a chance to win consistently and compete for a championship,” Davis’ agent, Rich 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 news, sad as it is for fans of the Pelicans who were hoping to see the superstar stick around, gives the team flexibility in terms of how to proceed. They could trade Davis prior to the trade deadline next month, or wait until the offseason, and in either case, the team can try to set off a bidding war for one of the league’s best players. And Davis, unlike Paul George and other star players who have made trade demands, did not specify the team he wants to play for.
Wherever he ends up, Davis is eligible for a five-year, $240 million “supermax” extension this offseason. Here are some of the teams that are possible destinations for “AD.”
The Los Angeles Lakers are the first team that comes to mind. LeBron James signed there last summer, with the intention of adding more superstars in time, and Rich Paul is also James’ agent. The Lakers would presumably like to package some players from their young nucleus, such as Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, and Kyle Kuzma, to New Orleans for Davis.
The Boston Celtics are the other team often mentioned as a Davis destination. The team has a great deal of talent that hasn’t quite meshed together this season, and would likely be intrigued at packaging some of that talent for Davis. However, because the Celtics previously traded for Kyrie Irving, they’re not allowed to acquire Davis until this July, making a pre-deadline trade impossible – unless they include Irving in the trade.
The Philadelphia 76ers probably aren’t the most natural fit for Davis, but if they conclude that the way forward isn’t with Jimmy Butler, they could shuffle the deck again and go with a “twin towers” tandem of Davis and Joel Embiid, and hope that it leads to more success than Davis’ previous pairing with DeMarcus Cousins in New Orleans.
If not the Lakers, why not the other team in L.A.? The Los Angeles Clippers have been trying to add a superstar as well, so Davis would be a possibility there too. A package built around Tobias Harris would probably be necessary.
ESPN story on agent Rich Paul informing New Orleans that All-NBA star Anthony Davis won't sign an extension and wants a trade. https://t.co/7e7FCVKHAy— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 28, 2019
The Golden State Warriors? It would probably be unfair to the rest of the league, and it’s hard to imagine Davis even landing there unless the Warriors were willing to trade Draymond Green and otherwise get super-creative.
Of course, there’s always the chance that a team could come out of nowhere with an offer and land Davis. After all, no one expected Paul George to be traded to Oklahoma City two summers ago, but he did not only go to the Thunder, but he re-signed there as well.