When Anthony Davis requested a trade from the New Orleans Pelicans through agent Rich Paul, the NBA’s tampering rules became a major discussion once again.
Prior to the 2018-19 NBA season, Davis joined Klutch Sports Group, which famously represents LeBron James. And when James publicly stated he wanted to play with Davis and later double-downed on his comments amid tampering allegations, the league sent a memo reminding players and teams.
Since president of basketball operations Magic Johnson and general manager Rob Pelinka took over the Los Angeles Lakers front office, they have been fined twice for tampering in regards to their Paul George and Giannis Antetokounmpo commennts. While there have been no incidents, other teams have mentioned players without any fines.
However, with the Milwaukee Bucks on Davis’ short list of preferred destinations, co-owner Marc Lasry was fined for his recent comments, according to Malika Andrews of ESPN:
Bucks co-owner Marc Lasry has been fined 25K for his comments about Anthony Davis, league sources tell ESPN. The comments violated league tampering rules.
— Malika Andrews (@malika_andrews) February 11, 2019
The unfortunate truth for teams like the Pelicans is tampering exists. As players are starting to understand they have control over their careers, it was not surprising for Davis to request a trade with the Lakers and New York Knicks as his preferred destination.
As Johnson believes the Pelicans did not act in good faith during trade discussions, New Orleans had 6.5 seasons to build a championship contender and they did not. While Davis ultimately was not traded, the Pelicans will likely trade him at some point or lose him for nothing in 2020 free agency.
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