Star big man Anthony Davis shocked the NBA at the end of January when he publicly announced that he would not be re-signed with his current team, the New Orleans Pelicans, when he reaches free agency in 2020, and that he was requesting a trade. This set off a weeks-long frenzy before the trade deadline, although Davis was not traded and remained with New Orleans through the end of the season.
Now, with Davis a year away from free agency, with the trade market set to reignite once the season ends, the Pelicans have a new personnel boss — and he hasn’t given up on convincing Davis to stay in New Orleans.
Per Amico Hoops, David Griffin, who was announced earlier this week as the new general manager and executive vice president of basketball operations of the Pelicans, told the local media that he plans to sit down with Davis and his agent, Rich Paul. If he’s told at that point that Davis still wants a trade, he implied, he will go from there.
“You are either all the way in or all the way out,” Griffin told reporters, per the site. “There’s no in between.”
Griffin, who was the Cleveland Cavaliers’ general manager during LeBron James’ second stint with the team, is familiar with Paul, who also represents James.
If Davis reiterates his trade demand, there is expected to be much interest in the player, with the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics expected to make offers. The Pelicans and Lakers had engaged in extensive trade talks prior to the deadline that did not result in the deal. But the team executives from both teams at the time are both no longer in charge, with New Orleans firing Dell Demps during the season and Earvin “Magic” Johnson stepping down from his role with the Lakers on the last day of the season.
The Pelicans, if Davis doesn’t want to stay, will be strongly incentivized to trade him and gain something of value in exchange for a player who could leave with no compensation after one more season. And any team trading for Davis will probably want to get the player to agree to a contract extension. Reporting at the time of the deadline indicated that Davis was willing to sign an extension with the Lakers or New York Knicks, but less willing to agree to a long-term deal with the Boston Celtics.