And midway through the 2018-19 NBA season, Davis felt his time with the Pelicans had come to an end and requested a trade.
Naturally, Pelicans fans were unhappy with the decision to leave the team prior to the end of his deal, booing him mercilessly in several games after the trade request. However, some perspective was likely given when the Pelicans were handed Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart, and several first round draft picks in exchange for Davis.
Rondo spoke about Davis and his time in New Orleans, saying the market in the city is almost entirely with the New Orleans Saints, according to Tania Ganguli of Los Angeles Times:
“We were the step-kids,” said Lakers point guard Rajon Rondo, who played in New Orleans during the 2017-18 season. “It’s just what it is. The Saints are who they are. They earned it. But sometimes the market is just like that.”
Rondo then proceeded to defend Davis’ decision, saying that he did all he could for the city and they didn’t do enough to keep him around:
“[The Pelicans] just didn’t do what they needed to do to keep him,” Rondo said. “… You don’t want to let your career pass you by. He’s eight, nine years in now. He wants to contend for a title, a championship. His legacy’s on the line. I think he gave the city all he had. There was nothing else to give.”
It’s extremely clear why Davis felt it was the right time to move on as there was simply no obvious path to a championship if he stayed. And now, Davis and the Pelicans both got what they wanted.
Davis can compete for a championship this season alongside LeBron James and many of his friends and solid role players. Meanwhile, the Pelicans could hit a soft reset button and start over with a talented young core of Ingram, Ball, Hart, Jrue Holiday, and Zion Williamson.
It will now be interesting to see how Pelicans fans feel about Davis after some time has passed and those questions will be answered when he returns to New Orleans for the first time since the trade.