Rich Paul blames former Pelicans GM Dell Demps for Anthony Davis trade request going public
Anthony Davis’ trade request was the news that shook the New Orleans Pelicans to their core and turned the NBA trade deadline into the juiciest two weeks in the midst of the season. However, the abrupt nature of it and the way it was handled by former GM Dell Demps is something Davis’ agent, Rich Paul, blames the executive entirely for.
“It was necessary to go public,” Paul told S.L. Price of Sports Illustrated. “When I told you, ‘Here’s our intentions,’ and you say, ‘Hey, let me talk to ownership,’ and instead of you talking to ownership you call Anthony Davis? That’s called being ignored.” And trying to get between a player and his agent? “That’s a no-no. Every GM knows that.”
Paul originally informed the Pelicans of Davis’ intentions not to re-sign with the organization on Friday, Jan. 25, only days before Paul went public with the trade request on Jan. 28 — giving the Pelicans short of two weeks to pull of a trade before the deadline.
“Would I have wanted things to be handled a bit better? Absolutely,” said Paul, who admitted ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski had contacted him to confirm Davis’s demands, before the proverbial Woj-bomb dropped.
Demps was consequently fired weeks later, though for other reasons, having missed the chance to trade for Davis at the deadline and his inability to take ownership of his actions, forcing coach Alvin Gentry to be peppered by the local media in search for answers.