Pelicans GM leaves it to NBA to determine if LeBron James’ comments regarding Anthony Davis qualify as tampering
Anthony Davis has been linked to the Lakers ever since he signed with LeBron James’ agent before the season started, Rich Paul of Klutch Sports. Davis can become an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2020 and there have been talks that the Lakers are going to try and trade for him before then.
Well, count Pelicans general manager Dell Demps as someone who wasn’t a fan of LeBron James’ comments, as he told local reporters on Wednesday that’s he’s going to leave it up to the league and commissioner Adam Silver to determine if James’ comments qualify as tampering.
The @PelicansNBA response to LeBron's comment "It would be amazing" to play w/ AD if Lakers trade for him: GM Dell Demps tells me "Pels are leaving it up to League to determine if that qualifies as tampering. Pels have no intention of trading AD. Focused on winning in West now."
— Jennifer Hale (@JenHale504) December 20, 2018
According to league policy, the NBA’s anti-tampering rule prohibits teams from interfering with other teams’ contractual relationships with NBA players. Lakers president Magic Johnson was fined $500,000 for tampering in communications centered around Paul George.
The Pelicans can offer Anthony Davis the supermax extension this summer. If Davis turns that down, though, it would put Dell Demps and New Orleans in a very tough spot. It would be devastating to lose Anthony Davis for nothing in free agency, so the Pelicans might have to trade him if Davis turns the extension down.