More than five months after Anthony Davis‘ trade request and all of the drama that came from it, the New Orleans Pelicans eventually traded him to the Los Angeles Lakers.
After two playoff appearances in seven seasons with the Pelicans, the 26-year-old wanted to take control of the prime years of his career and teamed up with LeBron James.
Despite Davis set to become a free agent following the 2019-20 NBA season, the Lakers had to trade their entire young core (minus Kyle Kuzma) and multiple draft picks.
At the 2019 Lakers Media Day, Davis was consistent with his message when asked about his impending free agency.
“I just want to focus on this year,” Davis said to the media.
While Davis wants to focus on the present, he shared the Lakers have made him feel at home since the trade.
“The Lakers definitely welcomed me with open arms and made me feel like this was home,” Davis acknowledged.
“You know, but at the same time, it’s about what we can do this year. We have a special team, a special unit, a special coaching staff, and we’re going to do whatever we can to focus on this year and try to come out victorious.”
Although Davis’ comments may create some uneasiness for the organization and fans, the Lakers and New York Knicks were viewed as his two long-term trade destinations.
As Davis is focused on winning the 2020 NBA Finals, the Lakers have involved him in their signings and have honored his request to play more power forward than center.
Winning is the top priority, but general manager Rob Pelinka and company are well-positioned to re-sign Davis. Along with James being under contract until the 2021-22 season (player option), the Lakers will be players once again in 2021 free agency, which features Giannis Antetokounmpo.
If the Lakers can continue to maintain this type of relationship with Davis, they should feel confident he will eventually re-sign with them when the time comes in July.
While the media will continue to ask Davis about it, he and the Lakers are on the same page in terms of taking it one day at a time in hopes of reaching their ultimate goal.