Things are starting to get spicy for The Brow in the Big Easy (and it’s not the gumbo).
This week, Pelicans superstar center Anthony Davis made it publicly known through his agent Rich Paul that he wants to be traded from New Orleans. Further, Davis and Paul made it clear that if the Pelicans were to offer him a contract extension this summer, it would not be considered by their camp. The news was first broken by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Agent Rich Paul has notified the New Orleans Pelicans that All-NBA forward Anthony Davis has no intention of signing a contract extension if and when presented and that he has requested a trade, Paul told ESPN on Monday.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 28, 2019
Davis, better known by his nickname “The Brow,” has been with New Orleans since he was drafted first overall in 2012. In his 7th season with the team, Davis and the Pelicans have only made the playoffs twice with the most recent appearance coming last year in a second-round exit. The 6’10” center has racked up the accolades in his young career, including: 5x NBA All-Star, 3x All-NBA First Team member, and the 2017 NBA All-Defensive First Team.
However, since joining New Orleans, Davis hasn’t had the team success of his days in Kentucky, where he was voted the 2012 NCAA Final Four Most Outstanding Player on his way to becoming a NCAA champion. With the Pelicans again out of a playoff spot, the Chicago product has made it clear that he wants to go to a place where winning a championship is possible, a la Kevin Durant with Golden State.
In his public statement, agent Rich Paul made it clear that one team stands above the rest when it comes to Davis’s wish list: the Los Angeles Lakers. Therein lies a conflict of interest, as Rich Paul’s close friend and money loaner LeBron James is the current face of the Lakers. It was enough for the NBA to fine Anthony Davis $50,000 for violating the league tampering rules.
Rumors have also circulated about the New York Knicks being “aggressive” in their pursuit of Davis, per Wojnarwoski. The Boston Celtics have also been listed as potential suitors for AD, though they cannot make any trade until this summer due to the Rose Rule (yes, it’s named after Derrick Rose).
The question now is: who has what it takes to pry Davis away from the Pelicans? New Orleans has most of, if not all the leverage in any trade scenario. If the Knicks and/or Lakers do not offer a sweet enough package for AD, then the Pelicans can toy with them and defer until the summer, when the Celtics can enter into the mix. Many Twitter GMs have floated around several trade scenarios. But for New Orleans to even consider getting rid of Davis, who still has a year left on his contract, it would require these starting points:
Los Angeles Lakers:
2019 1st-round pick (projected mid-round)
New York Knicks:
2019 1st-round pick (projected top-3)
1 or more future first-round picks (projected late-round)
As Sulla mentioned on this week’s Last Second Covers, regardless of what team you run, you may be better off trying to sign DeMarcus Cousins this offseason versus trading away valuable assets for AD. All of these trade packages are king’s ransoms (and rightfully so for someone of AD’s caliber), but unless you strike out on Cousins or another valuable free agent this summer, why ship away most of your young talent?
Someone may bite the bullet and make an over-the-top offer for Davis, but in my opinion, the urgency from Davis’s camp to get him out of New Orleans does not justify any other team overpaying for him.
Purveyor of truth. Breaker of chains. Foolish fan of the Mets, Jets, and Knicks.