The relationship between Anthony Davis and the New Orleans Pelicans turned sour when the All-Star big man informed his team that he has no intention of signing the massive contract extension that they are planning to offer next summer and expressed his desire to be traded to an NBA team where he can consistently win and contend for the NBA championship title.
However, instead of immediately granting Anthony Davis’ trade request, Pelicans General Manager Dell Demps decided to wait for the summer of 2019 to move him so teams like the Boston Celtics could join the bidding. After the February NBA trade deadline passed, there were speculations that the Pelicans were planning to shut Davis down for the rest of the 2018-19 NBA season to prevent him from suffering an injury.
Unfortunately, the NBA reportedly intervened and threatened to fine the Pelicans $100,000 for every game Anthony Davis sat while healthy. Davis has already played his first three games since returning from an injury but the Pelicans put him on a minute restriction. Compared to his performance earlier in the 2018-19 NBA season, Davis hasn’t looked like the player who vowed to bring the first NBA championship title in New Orleans.
After the Pelicans suffered a 30-point defeat from the hands of the Orlando Magic on Tuesday night, Anthony Davis couldn’t help but express his frustration to the press. Davis said in a post-game interview that the entire Pelicans’ team performed like they are no longer interested in playing this season.
“We sucked,” Davis said, via New York Post. “Nobody was interested in playing, is what it looked like.”
The most realistic path for Anthony Davis to the Lakers may involve finding a third team that values LA's young guys: https://t.co/TUPN8Stmk7
— CWCrouseNBA (@CW_Crouse) February 13, 2019
It has been almost one week since the NBA trade deadline but Anthony Davis and the Pelicans still haven’t moved on and regained their focus. In their recent game against the Magic, Davis only finished with three points on 1-of-9 shooting from the field. Davis was completely dominated by Magic center Nikola Vucevic, who posted 25 points and 17 rebounds on 55.6 percent shooting from the field and 33.3 percent shooting from beyond the arc.
“Obviously I missed a lot of shots, a lot of easy shots — layups and stuff that I normally make— early in the game,” Davis said. “But they came out more desperate. They played like they were playing for something, and they showed it.”
Despite their current struggle, the Pelicans are not technically out of the playoff race, but as of now, it remains a big question mark if they are still aiming to play in the postseason. The Pelicans’ next game will be against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday night at Smoothie King Center.