Anthony Davis confirmed what many had long suspected by informing the New Orleans Pelicans he will not sign a five-year, $240 million supermax contract extension this summer. Additionally, the 25-year-old requested a trade.
The Pelicans have less than two weeks to complete a trade this season, but considering Davis remains under contract through the 2019-2020 campaign, they have over one year to sort through the matter. A general consensus is they may only need until this offseason, when the Boston Celtics can become involved.
Nevertheless, the Los Angeles Lakers and New York Knicks are expected to be among the teams that will engage the Pelicans before the Feb. 7 trade deadline. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, there’s an expectation Davis will deliver word of his preference to join the Lakers:
After agent Rich Paul of Klutch Sports told ESPN on Monday that he had informed the Pelicans that Davis wouldn’t sign an extension this summer and wanted a trade, multiple league sources expect the agent and star to soon deliver word throughout the league that Davis’ preferred destination is the Lakers and he’ll become a rental player until 2020 with a trade anywhere else.
The approach is one Paul George took while he was seeking a trade from the Indiana Pacers, yet the Oklahoma City Thunder took the gamble anyway. It paid off, as George re-signed with the team last summer. Perhaps most surprising was he didn’t so much as grant the Lakers a meeting.
To a lesser extent, Trevor Ariza attempted to take a similar stance as he was being shopped by the Phoenix Suns late last year. Suns owner Robert Sarver reportedly was adamant the team not grant Ariza his wish, and he was traded to the Washington Wizards.
Whether Davis will be able to influence the Pelicans into accepting an offer from the Lakers this season, or make his way to Los Angeles via free agency may not be settled for quite some time.
And while George ultimately spurned the Lakers, Davis might be more of a lock should he need to wait until free agency because of sharing an agent with LeBron James in Rich Paul.
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