Anthony Davis has said he isn’t going to be signing an extension with the Pelicans, which nobody should have been surprised by. The NBA fining Davis $50,000 was laughable, but I suppose expected, given they want to try and keep star players in the markets that draft them as long as possible.
But what happened next, you won’t believe it! Really:
That’s just pathetic. Davis is in his 7th year with New Orleans, and he’s been excellent. He’s taken them as far as Chris Paul did – 2nd round of the playoffs – and now he’s ready to move on.
Will Davis play another game this year for the Pelicans? It seems unlikely. He’s sidelined with a finger injury that could – like Kawhi Leonard last year in San Antonio – morph into a “just sit out because we won’t get as much back if you’ve got a torn ACL.” The Spurs actually wanted Leonard back to help them with a playoff push, but he’d lost trust in the organization, and specifically, coach Gregg Popovich.
The Pelicans are boxed in on who they can deal with now because the Celtics are hamstrung by the “Rose Rule.” The tanking Knicks are interesting because they hold the #1 pick in the draft (as of this moment), but the Pelicans are not trading for injured Kristaps Porzingis now.
The Lakers are the only real dance partner, but the Pelicans are seemingly acting out of spite, not wanting to trade Davis there.
Let’s see if Davis turns up the heat this weekend with a “I’ll only sign with the Lakers” edict. I maintain the Pelicans should just trade him now. Why stretch it out? If you’re the GM, the best chance to save your job is get to the playoff this year. Will Brandon Ingram and Kyle Kuzma accomplish that? Probably not, but they’ll certainly come closer than the Pelicans without Davis.
GM Dell Demps wants to hold out for some deal involving draft picks and maybe Jayson Tatum … yeah, well, there’s zero chance Demps will be around to see the fruits of his labor.
I keep going back to the Pacers. Paul George asked out. They didn’t wait for a bunch of draft picks, they took two guys with some experience who could help immediately. The Pacers went to the playoffs last year, and may head back this year even with Victor Oladipo down for the season.
The NBA would love to have Anthony Davis and LeBron join forces on the Lakers for the playoffs, instead of have the media and fans obsess over Davis’s potential trade throughout the NBA Finals between the Warriors and whomever.