The New Orleans Pelicans are currently facing a huge dilemma after the face of the franchise, Anthony Davis, informed them that he has no intention of signing the massive contract extension that they are planning to offer next summer. Also, Davis reportedly wanted to be traded to a team where he can consistently win and contend for the NBA championship title.
The timing of Davis’ trade request made most people believe that he wants to team up with his fellow Klutch Sports Group client, LeBron James, in Los Angeles. Several NBA teams have already expressed interest in acquiring Davis before the February NBA trade deadline, but as of now, the Lakers are believed to be the team that can offer the best trade package to the Pelicans. The Boston Celtics can beat the Lakers in terms of trade assets, but the earliest that they could engage in a trade discussion with the Pelicans will be on July 1.
With the current issue that they are facing, Pelicans General Manager Dell Demps has started seeking advice from people who have been in the same situation. One of the people Demps had a conversation with, according to Stephen A. Smith of ESPN, is San Antonio Spurs Head Coach Gregg Popovich. Popovich and the Spurs had the same problem in the last offseason when Kawhi Leonard expressed his desire to leave San Antonio.
Like Anthony Davis, Leonard was also rumored to be interested in playing for the purple and gold. However, the Spurs ended up trading Leonard to the Toronto Raptors for a package centered on DeMar DeRozan. Smith revealed that Coach Gregg Popovich advised Pelicans General Manager Dell Demps to do the same thing and not to trade Anthony Davis to the Lakers.
“I’ve been told that one of the people that Dell Demps has communicated with is Gregg Popovich,” Smith said, as transcribed by Lakers Nation. “Not for trade talks or anything, but a guy like Gregg Popovich has said, ‘Don’t cave to the Los Angeles Lakers.’ In other words, ‘Like we didn’t for Kawhi Leonard.'”
It’s easy to understand why Popovich doesn’t want the Pelicans to send Anthony Davis to the Lakers. The tandem of Davis and LeBron James in Los Angeles will give Popovich another team to worry about in the Western Conference. Demps seemed to follow Popovich’s advice as according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, New Orleans is currently in no rush and could wait for the summer of 2019 to trade Davis.