Los Angeles Lakers center/power forward Anthony Davis made one of the biggest headlines during the 2018-19 NBA season when he informed the New Orleans Pelicans that he has no intention of signing the massive contract that they planned to offer and that he wanted to be traded to a team where he can consistently win and contend for an NBA championship. In the 2019 NBA offseason, the Pelicans ended up trading Davis to the Los Angeles Lakers in exchange for Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart, and multiple first-round picks.
Weeks have passed since the blockbuster deal involving the Lakers and the Pelicans happened, but Davis remains the center of controversy. While the Lakers nation is rejoicing over the acquisition of one of the best active players in the NBA, there are some people in the NBA who aren’t happy with Davis’ decision to part ways with the Pelicans, including Golden State Warriors Head Coach Steve Kerr. In an appearance on The Warriors Insider Podcast, Kerr called Davis’ trade request as a “real problem that the league has to address.”
Kerr believes that when Anthony Davis signed a contract with the Pelicans, he should have devoted himself to the team, the city, and their fans. The Warriors coach said he hopes that Davis’ recent moves won’t be a “trend” because if that happens, it will be “bad” for the league.
Kerr’s statements on Anthony Davis earned mixed reactions from different personalities in the NBA. While there are some who sided with Kerr, other players decided to throw some support to Davis, including his Lakers’ teammate Jared Dudley. In an interview with Ethan Strauss of The Athletic, Dudley said that like the teams, the players also have the freedom to make their own choice.
“You know what, I am a huge Steve Kerr fan,” Dudley said, as quoted by SB Nation’s Silver Screen And Roll. “Obviously, he traded for me. I was in Phoenix with the same agent (Mark Bartelstein). That’s the only time I think I’ve disagreed with him. Because, why can’t a player ask out of his contract if what you sold him on changed? Happens all the time. Hey, we want to win, but now we’re going to rebuild. Vice-versa where a guy gets traded after a year when there are three years left on his contract. And so why can a team be able to trade but a player can’t ask for a trade?”
Jared Dudley on D’Angelo Russell and a wild NBA free-agent summer https://t.co/njYdZUYhU8
— Ethan Strauss (@SherwoodStrauss) July 29, 2019
Dudley thinks that if the Pelicans ran their organization well enough, Anthony Davis wouldn’t have demanded a trade and chased for an NBA championship somewhere else. However, in the years Davis spent in New Orleans, their greatest achievement was reaching the Western Conference Semifinals. The Lakers may have missed the postseason for six straight years, but they currently have a better chance of bringing home the Larry O’Brien Trophy in the 2019-20 NBA season than the Pelicans.
Though they failed to add a third superstar, the Lakers still managed to surround LeBron James and Anthony Davis with quality players this summer. After Kawhi Leonard signed with the Los Angeles Clippers, the Lakers used their salary cap space to sign DeMarcus Cousins, Danny Green, Jared Dudley, Avery Bradley, Troy Daniels, and Quinn Cook. They also decided to bring back some of their own free agents like JaVale McGee, Rajon Rondo, Alex Caruso, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.