Breaking: Pelicans’ Anthony Davis requests trade to championship contender
New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis has requested a trade to a championship contender, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. His agent, Rich Paul of Klutch Sports, informed the Pelicans his client has no desire to re-sign with the team and would prefer to go to a team with title aspirations.
“Anthony wants to be traded to a team that allows him the chance to win consistently and compete for a championship,” said Paul.
Davis also talked to his teammates prior to his decision, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.
The Brow reportedly told the Pelicans on Friday, giving them short of two weeks to find a suitable trade for him, putting the organization in a pressure cooker of maximum importance after only mustering a 22-28 record, good for 13th place in a ruthless Western Conference.
Davis is eligible for a supermax contract in form of a five-year, $240 million contract extension this summer, and can become a free agent in the summer of 2020.
The Los Angeles Lakers have kept close eyes on Davis and have a leg up on the Boston Celtics for his services, considering the latter will be unable to trade for him, having already a designated player trade exception in Kyrie Irving (known as the Rose Rule). Unless Irving takes part in a trade for Davis, the Celtics would be forced to wait until the summer to make a play for The Brow once Irving is signed to a deal.
NBA teams cannot trade for more than one player who has signed an extension under the “Rose Rule” — a designated limitation only applicable when a player is still in a Rose Rule extension. Boston traded for Irving in August 2017, so the franchise cannot deal for Davis or any other player that has signed such extension, until Irving leaves or agrees to a new contract.
The Celtics, however, have a treasure’s chest worth of draft picks and young players to offer in exchange for the five-time All-Star, who at 25 years old, is right in the midst of his prime as a basketball talent.
Among all who have shown interest for Davis, Boston has the best package to send in return, and if the Pelicans aren’t pleased with the packages presented before the Feb. 7 trade deadline, they’d be smart to wait until the offseason to part ways with their talisman.
Davis is posting the best numbers of his career with 29.3 points, 13.3 rebounds, 4.4 assists, 1.7 steals and 2.6 blocks per game this season, despite missing the last four games — still recovering from a sprained index finger that could keep him out for another week or two.
The Pelicans have been decimated by injuries all around, not only missing Davis, but Julius Randle (ankle sprain) and Nikola Mirotic (calf sprain), who joined him in street clothes during Saturday’s loss to the San Antonio Spurs; their third in a row.