Shams Charania: All-Star Anthony Davis‘ agent, Rich P…

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Marc Stein: Asked if the Pels would honor Anthony Davis' request before the Feb. 7 trade deadline, agent Rich Paul told @NYTSports: "They haven't said much, but we wanted to do the right thing to let them know by the deadline so they could do what's best for the organization going forward."
Scott Kushner: Despite all of this, I still don't expect Davis to be moved at the upcoming trade deadline. I believe the Pelicans' best offer will come from the Celtics, who can't make a deal until this summer. But, GM Dell Demps at least has to listen to offers now.
If the Lakers’ hoped-for deal for Anthony Davis becomes reality, Lonzo Ball is likely, or all but certain, to go to New Orleans. Assuming the Lakers want a third superstar with LeBron James and AD—from a list starting with Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard and Klay Thompson—they have to slice more than $20 million off next season’s cap, which could go to New Orleans in a trade for Davis. Aside from James’ $37.4 million, two Lakers will make more than $2.1 million: Ball at $8.7 million, and Brandon Ingram at $7.3 million... making the young players likely, or all but certain, to be in any deal for AD.
Nate Duncan: "For the Anthony Davis sweepstakes, Boston and Los Angeles are in there...Are there any other teams outside of those two that could realistically get in that mix?" Chris Haynes: "No team is concrete. Obviously there's some teams looking and lurking. L.A. Clippers, they're being really aggressive out there. They're looking at Kawhi Leonard. They're looking at Kevin Durant. Obviously they're monitoring the Anthony Davis situation, they're monitoring DeMarcus Cousins - seeing how he's gonna progress through the achilles injury."
In chasing Davis, the Lakers may need a push from his agent Rich Paul of Klutch Sports, who also represents James. "I'd say if the [Philadelphia 76ers offer Ben] Simmons, or with the [Boston] Celtics' package of picks and young players, the Lakers would probably be third," the former executive said. "One would think that [Pelicans general manager] Dell [Demps] would want a deal done around the draft [with Boston's picks]."
Warriors. Anthony Davis. I'm throwing this out there, I'm not basing this on anything, but a sleeper team, Golden State for Anthony Davis. Chris Haynes: "That rumor's been around for some time, and I think Tim Kawakami of the Athletic in the Bay Area started the reporting on that. And I think there was something to that. I'll say this: I think things have changed a little bit now that Anthony Davis is repped by Rich Paul, who happens to be LeBron James' agent. So I think [those rumors] had more juice this time last year, to go in that direction. I would be surprised if Golden State would be able to enter the field... to picking up AD. I think the Lakers have a legitimate shot. I think Boston is definitely gonna be in there. I can't see Golden State picking that up. It would be mighty difficult - it's just a lot of things have changed since then."
The New Orleans Pelicans stance has been firm all season long — Anthony Davis will not be traded — and Adrian Wojnarowski reconfirmed that notion last night on ESPN’s NBA Countdown show. “They want to continue to try and improve this team to convince Anthony Davis to stay there,” said Wojnarowski. “Dell Demps, their gm, you know he told me, ‘Listen, we’ve won two of three games since we’ve gotten healthier.’ Niko Mirotic is back, Elfrid Payton, point guard. And he hasn’t had a chance this year to really evaluate their whole group together. They’ve had a lot of injuries; they don’t have a very long window to do that between now and the February 7th trade deadline.”
Dane Moore: Alvin Gentry, understandably, becoming fatigued with questions about Anthony Davis' future. From his availability before Saturday's matchup against the Timberwolves: "We're a team and we play and he's on our team. That's what I know. That's it." -- Gentry
The Celtics have been floated as a trade partner for the Pelican's Anthony Davis for a long time now due to an outstanding young core and they want to add another superstar. In fact, outside of the Lakers, they've arguably generated the most talk. Forward Jayson Tatum -- who broke out during last year's postseason when Kyrie Irving was injured -- is one of the names most commonly brought up. Tatum is well aware of the talk, as is his father, Justin. Justin told Cedric Maxwell of "The Sports Hub" that "I probably would trade [Tatum] too, if he wasn't my son" to get Davis. When Tatum was told that his dad had said that, his response was simple: "Yeah, I'd trade me too for Anthony Davis," he told Maxwell. The response drew some laughs.
Gayle Benson: “And I think he’s up there helping. I think this thing with the horses, and even the Pelicans at the beginning of the season, well now they’re not doing so great, but I think we just need to give them a little bit more time. I think they’re young, and we’re going to invest more money and get the big players and do everything we can to keep Anthony (Davis) here. I really like what we have in place. I really like Anthony, but if he wants to leave, you can’t hold him back. But I always keep in touch with people that we lose, like Benjamin Watson. When he left, I kept in touch with him, and now he’s back. And then you understand it. Adrian Peterson too. A lot of people that left, I don’t ever hold grudges with people. Even as angry, well it wasn’t so much angry but disappointed as I was with his family, I don’t wish anybody harm. I think God takes care of things and he’s taken care of that situation.”
Whatever is happening between Davis and the Pelicans is only a little about market size. Davis has not yet told those close to him that he is dead set on the Lakers or any other specific team should he decide to leave, according to a source familiar with his thinking. He does not appear ready to demand a trade. All of that could, of course, change at any moment. Regardless: There is no denying the importance of this story. Any trade over the next year involving Davis might be the single most important trade of an NBA veteran since the Lakers acquired Kareem Abdul-Jabbar from Milwaukee in 1975. (Kevin Pelton once tackled this question from a more analytics-infused perspective.)
Philadelphia has the goods, but Klutch's representation of Ben Simmons complicates that discussion. The Warriors have been publicly linked to Davis before -- and would surely be interested, sources say -- but it's hard to find a realistic path ahead of next season. They aren't trading Curry or Durant for him; Durant is a free agent anyway. Draymond Green probably isn't enticing enough as a centerpiece considering what little else the Warriors have in draft picks and young players. Klay Thompson is a free agent too, and it seems unlikely he would agree to a sign-and-trade sending him to New Orleans.
Kevin Garnett: "Anthony Davis playing in New Orleans, I don’t want to say they are wasted days, but they are non-days. He needs to be somewhere where he can be with another guy and they can have a run at a championship. He has been in New Orleans long enough. It is time for a change now. This is it. No better time to do this."
Combine that with the fact Davis signed with the Klutch agency that also represents James before the start of the season, and it is little wonder that the rumor mill is in overdrive. "I definitely get the sense (it is in the works)," Garnett laughed. "This is the craziest (expletive) I have ever seen. Rich Paul, LeBron’s best (expletive) friend is representing him? Come on, man."
If Davis indicates that he won't extend, the Pelicans may find a trade is the only answer, lest they lose one of the league's elite players without any compensation. The buzz in Las Vegas, where most of the league's executives gathered over the past few days for the NBA G League Winter Showcase, is that Davis will end up with either the Boston Celtics or Lakers before the 2019-20 season. "It's a renewal of the NBA's great rivalries, just not on the court but behind the scenes," one executive said.
The primary link to the Lakers is Rich Paul of Klutch Sports, who is the player agent for both James and Davis. That connection is a conflict of interest, at least in the view of several teams. "I'm not worried about James tampering to the media about AD. It's that James and Paul are mafioso mob bosses of the NBA that's the problem," a Western Conference general manager said.
"I wouldn't lock the Lakers in for AD," a front-office executive said. "Davis will have a lot of options if he wants to leave New Orleans." The Celtics may not have the cap space to renegotiate his contract, but by virtue of his trade bonus, they could get within $18 million of the supermax, with Davis re-signing again in 2022. Given the available options, Davis can afford to turn away a massive offer from the Pelicans.

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With the Pelicans staying overnight before traveling to Sacramento, James and Davis met up for a postgame dinner in Los Angeles, league sources told Yahoo Sports. If Davis desires to be a member of the Lakers, it’s only a matter of time before he’s eventually sporting the purple and gold. Davis is in complete control of his destiny, and it may lead him directly to Southern California.
The Designated Player Veteran Extension was intended to increase the likelihood of franchise players staying with their current teams. However, for the Pelicans’ superstar and the representation he hired in September — Klutch Sports, which also represents James — the lucrative incentive won’t factor much into his decision on whether the 6-foot-10 star will commit long term to New Orleans, as The Athletic reported Friday. Davis wants to compete for championships for years to come. If Davis is of the mindset that New Orleans can’t surround him with the talent to contend, the DPVE won’t be viewed as much of a sweetener.
“I’d take legacy over money,” Davis told Yahoo Sports after posting game highs of 30 points and 20 rebounds to go with five assists in Friday’s loss. “I want to have a legacy. All my people that look up to me, the younger kids, I want them to know about AD’s legacy. Championships, the things I do in the community, being a good teammate, playing hard. All that stuff matters the most to me. Don’t get me wrong, money is amazing. But I think in that sense, money or legacy, I think my legacy will win that battle every time.”
The L.A. market is alluring and Davis is intrigued. Earlier this year, he purchased a $7.5 million home in Westlake Village in Los Angeles County. Furthermore, his profile and Nike presence would presumably grow in L.A. The Lakers are a legitimate threat to pry Davis from the Pelicans. And if that’s what he wants, as many believe, there really will be no stopping him.
Bobby Marks: As one team executive told ESPN in Vegas, "Anthony Davis will not be a free agent in the summer of 2020." Yes, the All-Star can opt out of his contract after the 2019-20 season, but the future of Davis is most likely to be resolved by the first week of July -- not in 18 months when he could be a free agent, or even at the Feb. 7 trade deadline. The options that ESPN's Brian Windhorst laid out this week were confirmed by several teams in Las Vegas. After the Pelicans offer Davis a $239 million supermax extension in the offseason -- which technically can't happen until July 1 -- Davis will either accept and commit to New Orleans long term or he'll be traded early that same month.
Although you could argue that the designated player veteran extension (DPVE) has flaws, one positive is that the future of Davis will not linger into the 2019-20 season. Either Davis takes the biggest contract in NBA history or he signals it's time for both sides to move on. As one team executive said, "This will not be a long, drawn-out process."
Speaking with reporters Friday after the Los Angeles Lakers' 112-104 win over New Orleans, James was asked if he erred when he told ESPN's Dave McMenamin this week that it would be "amazing" to play with Davis some day. Told that some felt it was wrong for James to talk about another player under contract, James replied, "So?" "What'd I do?" James said. "What did I do? Was it right or wrong?"
"Ask me if I'd like to play with Jimmy Butler," James said. "Say it right now. Ask me about Kyrie Irving, Giannis [Antetokounmpo]. Ask me about [Joel] Embiid, Ben Simmons. Go ahead, all of them. Luka Doncic. Ask me right now. "Come on, guys, this is not rocket science. These are great players. Absolutely. I would love to play with a lot of great players. That is just who I am. People get caught up in bunches sometimes when they wish they could control what you say, and they can't control me, at all. "And I play by the rules."

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Here’s why: While the Pelicans continue to say they won’t trade him, a strong offer might force an early conversation between Davis and team officials about his eventual intentions. It’s the absence of clarity on that front, in essence, that is buoying New Orleans’ hope that he might stay. What’s more, the Lakers have a competitive edge over Davis’ other known suitor, the Boston Celtics, that is getting smaller by the day.
Amid all this escalating noise about Davis and his uncertain future – from the LeBron James flattery in his recent ESPN interview to the Friday report that small-market general managers believe his comments qualified as tampering – there’s this revelation that should concern Pelicans ownership and management far more than all the rest. According to a source with knowledge of Davis’ thinking, he does not see the extra $87.3 million that New Orleans is expected to offer in a five-year, $239.5 million supermax extension this summer as a factor in his eventual decision.
New Orleans Pelicans’ fans, you’re about to be inundated with Anthony Davis trade talk. As if Friday night’s 9:30 p.m. tipoff against LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers wasn’t enough of a storyline setup, the game is broadcast on ESPN and comes in the midst of New Orleans’ most mediocre month. But, before tuning in, keep this in mind.
Based on multiple sources, the Pelicans have no intention of trading Davis this season. By all current indications, the superstar will have to expressly turn down a five-year, $239 million offer that would make him the richest player in NBA history. It’s nearly $35 million more than he can get anywhere else. And if Davis decides to decline it, only then will this whole conversation cross the line from possibility to reality. That’s not until July. But, be prepared.
I’m sure you’re aware there’s a lot of focus on what this season means in terms of keeping Anthony in New Orleans long term. What is like for you guys as a locker room? Recognizing the stakes for a small-market franchise like the Pelicans and a player like him? Julius Randle: Well, we don’t really focus on it. We don’t talk about it. We’re focused on the moment of now, and competing, and getting better as a team and reaching our full potential as a team. We really like our potential. At the end of day, AD is gonna do what’s best for AD. I don’t know what that is and I don’t want to have any influence on what that is. But he’s earned that right to do what he wants to do, as far as what’s best for him. Obviously, I would love to continue to play with him for the rest of my career.
Anthony Davis is aware of LeBron James' fawning comments to ESPN about him this week, but Davis is doing his best to block out all the noise about his contract situation with the New Orleans Pelicans. "I don't really care," Davis told ESPN of James' comments Wednesday night after the Pelicans' 123-115 loss to the Bucks. "Obviously, it's cool to hear any high-caliber player say they want to play with me. But my job is to turn this team around. If we're 15-17, that means I'm not doing my job."
Davis has given no indication he wants to leave New Orleans. In fact, he has been dedicating himself toward the team over the past year more than ever before. He's playing through injuries. He's playing out of his preferred position. He has shown noticeable leadership growth. He's having a career season and has a real chance at the MVP award.
Ahead of Anthony Davis and the New Orleans Pelicans visiting the Los Angeles Lakers for the first time this season on Friday, LeBron James openly pondered what having the All-Star forward alongside him in purple and gold at Staples Center would be like. "That would be amazing," James told ESPN on Tuesday before the Lakers' 115-110 loss to the Brooklyn Nets, referring to the Lakers landing Davis through a trade. "That would be amazing, like, duh. That would be incredible."
James had Davis on his mind after seeing ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski laying out the Lakers' trade priorities in a segment that aired on Tuesday's SportsCenter. "They're not going to give away picks and their top young players in some deal that makes them incrementally better this season because they've got to save all those assets for Anthony Davis, a big trade this summer pre- or post-free agency," Wojnarowski said. "That's why they've looked at players who are on one-year deals who don't have money going forward."
All signs continue to point to Anthony Davis’s future in New Orleans playing out in the summer. That’s when the Pelicans can offer Davis a contract extension worth well in excess of $200 million — and when they will know, in the dreaded event Davis declines it, that they realistically have to trade him. The long-held belief in this newsletter is that the notion of Davis being traded during this season is folly, mainly because that would likely require Davis himself to go urge the Pelicans to move him. That’s just not his style.
But the C’s may be battling with their historic rival if (when) Davis becomes available. “Boston has been hawking Anthony Davis for years,” Wojnarowski said in an ESPN video with Zach Lowe. “They always hoped that it would be, whether it’s the end of this season or the beginning of next before the trade deadline, that they would gather up all those assets, all those picks Danny Ainge has, [all the] young players, and they’d be the team to be able to get Anthony Davis. But now you have L.A. and if they get shut out in free agency, they’re going to have to take all their young players to try to use them to get Anthony Davis.”
Which is why, when reports that the Lakers would not include any of their young core in a trade for Trevor Ariza came out, it fit with the Lakers’ long-term thinking. Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN discussed this on a special trade season preview broadcast Saturday morning (transcription via Real GM). “Here’s the line [the Lakers] have to walk: they’re not going to give away picks and their top young players in some deal that makes them incrementally better this season because they have to save all those assets for Anthony Davis, a big trade this summer either pre or post free agency… “The absolute dream scenario, people talk about (how) they can trade for Anthony Davis or sign a free agent. The dream scenario is they do both.”
There is little doubt the Celts will be ringing the Pelicans’ phone next summer to investigate what it might take to extradite Davis from the Crescent City. But, as noted here before, no deal can be made this season that joins Davis and Kyrie Irving because both are under Rose Rule maximum contracts, and teams are allowed just one each. Irving presumably will be on a new deal next offseason when he opts out and signs here for more money and years.
While New Orleans is trying to win enough to convince Davis to stay, the rest of the league is ruminating about what it would take to pry Davis away. Such speculation is happening constantly now, but executives around the league see virtually no chance that Davis is traded before the Pelicans can offer him that super-max extension in July. New Orleans, as it should, will do everything it can to keep Davis -- and will move on from him only if it absolutely has to.
Davis hasn’t even hinted at being unhappy with his situation, according to sources close to the process, but it’s clear that Davis expects the team to make whatever moves necessary to ensure they make the postseason. But his camp hasn’t expressed any desire to move. In fact, internally, they have said the same things Davis is saying publicly that he wants to win in New Orleans.
Equally, sources close to the situation have said repeatedly that Davis wants a reason to stay. The supermax contract the Pelicans can offer is part of that, but also surrounding him with complimentary stars that can really challenge matters, too, which brings the situation back to the front office being aggressive.
The determining factor in the short term will be the level of success the Pelicans do or do not have during the first half of the upcoming 2018-19 season. If they are middle-of-the-pack or worse in the competitive Western Conference, it is more likely than not that Davis will be moved before the trading deadline. And if that becomes the case, no team is more primed to exchange a bushel full of assets than the Celtics, whose president, Danny Ainge, has long coveted Davis. “Winning and being the best player on the floor every night” matter most to Davis, according to the source, who spoke to Get More Sports on the condition of anonymity.
Davis told ESPN's The Undefeated he is still under contract with New Orleans through the 2020-21 season and he is not the source of the departure rumors. "I got two years to '20-'21. I'm here and whatever happens after that happens," Davis told ESPN's The Undefeated. "For me, right now it is about being the most dominant player in the league and helping this team win. You hear all the rumors. You hear all the talk. But it's not coming from me. I'm here to be a Pelican, help this team move forward and help this team win a championship."
He seems so loyal to New Orleans, but hiring Rich Paul (LeBron's agent from Klutch Sports) was a major red flag for the Pelicans. The Lakers seem like the no-brainer move, either via trade this summer or free agency in two summers.
Paul George, who forced Indiana to trade him a year before his contract expired, is the most recent example of stars maneuvering early to preserve their status as “Lary Bird players,” remaining eligible for maximum dollars. Insiders think that’s what Davis is doing, with the move to Klutch Sports all about the possibility of going to the Lakers. “Why else did he do it?” an East GM asked. “Things are going great for him. The team is going good. He got the Derrick Rose extension (a five-year $150 million deal that each team is allowed to offer one player on his rookie contract). “It’s not because of race. Thad Foucher is an Afro-American. It’s not because of agency. Thad Foucher is from the Wasserman Group and has Russell Westbrook. So why did he do it?”
Davis isn't a free agent until 2020, but some teams are already mulling trade packages if Davis passes on an extension the New Orleans Pelicans can offer him next summer. This is the option that raises goosebumps among a handful of teams that think they might have a chance at landing Davis. The fact that Davis and the Pelicans are off to a fantastic start and that Davis has continued to be outwardly committed to New Orleans has not slowed this one bit.
If Davis decides not to sign the extension, the New Orleans Pelicans could look to trade him. "My sense has always been with Anthony that he is always: some players are looking for reasons to stay and some players are looking for reasons to leave," said Adrian Wojnarowski on the Brian Windhorst & The Hoop Collective Show. "I've always thought that Anthony is a guy looking for reasons to stay in New Orleans. And I think that will continue to be the case until he feels he's out of them. "I do think down the line that the Boston and L.A., if he became available, that will be interesting, especially if the Lakers get shut out this summer."
Coach Alvin Gentry says there's nobody in the world the New Orleans Pelicans would trade Anthony Davis for. No, seriously. Nobody. "If you don't want to call him the best player, I call him the most valuable," Gentry told reporters after Monday's practice. "If you can trade him for anybody, then he is the most valuable guy in the league. Not that we would ever consider that. ... There's no one in the league that we would trade him for and there's no one out of the league — not even Beyonce. If we wouldn't trade him for her, he's probably untouchable."
Those statements can be uncomfortable for some, especially with the Pelicans so aware he can be a free agent in 2020. More to the point, if Davis isn't feeling the franchise next summer when it can offer him a five-year extension for around $240 million, there's going to be problems. Big problems. That reality is just below the surface on every decision that is taking place in New Orleans right now. Just being around the team and talking to its players, coaches and executives, the tension exists. To pretend it doesn't isn't genuine. That makes this season pretty important for the future of the franchise.
Anthony Davis: You can't listen to what somebody else is saying or listen to all the white noise or, 'AD's going here, he's going here, he's going here.' Well, AD is playing for the Pelicans this year. So my job is to focus on winning and helping these guys as much as possible on and off the floor. And the rest will take care of itself.
Unlike some of the best players in the league though, Davis does not have an NBA Finals appearance, let alone a championship ring. The Pelicans aren't expected to go far this year either. Winning is certainly important for Davis but he refused to state whether he may have to leave the Pelicans to do just that. "I think that's a big part. Winning definitely helps everything, helps with your legacy, helps [you] be on the top of the list," Davis explained. "But [for me] going to the playoffs every three years doesn't help my case. At this point, it's just about winning for me, being the most dominant player in the league, and whenever that time comes, I have a great team behind me that advise me on some decisions but my focus is on this year."
In addition, recent reports claim Davis is eyeing the Lakers as well as other teams such as the Boston Celtics, Philadelphia 76ers and New York Knicks. The Chicago native joked he had no idea how the rumors started but isn't paying attention to them for now. "You hear it everywhere, it's funny, how did that [Lakers rumors] even happen? How does that correlate?" Davis asked with a laugh. "You know, in my head, I don't pay attention to it, I keep going back to it but it's the truth, I look at what I have now and what I can do now and that's helping my team win." "You can't listen to what somebody else is saying, all the white noise, 'AD's going here, AD's going here,' — AD's playing for the Pelicans this year... the rest will take care of itself," he said.
Will Guillory: Been talking to a few people around Anthony Davis since conversation-gate broke. They've all insisted that AD's only focus is winning in NOLA this year. "There’s not a player in this league that wouldn’t want to play with AD but he’s focused on the task at hand," one source said
If they do, the Celtics will be one of the obvious suitors, with Brown, Marcus Smart, Terry Rozier, Robert Williams and/or a number of future picks including a possible top-five selection to dangle. Even if Tatum’s off the table, Boston would be able to field a competitive offer. Several league sources have said they believe Davis could end up either with the Celtics or Lakers if the Pelicans were to move him. If he landed with the Celtics, he’d be reunited with former Team USA teammate Irving. The two have already spoken about what it would be like to play together in Boston, according to a league source.
“I anticipate Anthony Davis is going to do the exact same thing [as Kawhi Leonard and Jimmy Butler] to try to navigate himself to be in Los Angeles with LeBron James,” Rose said on ESPN’s Get Up! However, Stephen A. Smith isn’t so sure the Lakers will be the only players in making a move for Davis in the near future. “For the most part your right,” Smith said. “He definitely wants out. He signed with Klutch Sports. Anthony Davis doesn’t want to be in New Orleans any longer. “Whether it’s definitively the Los Angeles Lakers I’m not so sure.
“I would keep Golden State and Boston in the mix because Golden State isn’t sure what Kevin Durant is going to want to do and Boston obviously has the requisite pieces to put together to make sure they can get the player of the quality of an Anthony Davis. “So I would put Golden State and Boston as possibilities alongside L.A. but there is no question that Anthony Davis, this will in all likelihood be his last season in New Orleans.”
The move also stoked paranoia in New Orleans, the city Chris Paul left in his prime shortly after he changed agents. But Davis said the move was aimed primarily at helping him become the "the most dominant player in the league." "It was just for where I am right now in my career -- what I'm trying to do -- I thought the change was necessary," Davis said Monday, when the Pelicans held media day on the eve of training camp. "That's all it was."
Theoretically, Davis also could try to parlay his agency switch into a trade aimed at changing the balance of power in the NBA, but whether he does so remains to be seen. "I'm here," Davis said. "I want to focus on winning this year with the squad that we have. We have a good squad."
Small forward Solomon Hill said teammates don't concern themselves with Davis' long-term outlook because they're taking the type of short-term approach Davis has discussed. Speculation about Davis' future is "going to happen all through the year," Hill said, mentioning numerous reports about the Boston Celtics' interest in orchestrating a blockbuster trade for New Orleans' franchise player.
Davis said the move was aimed primarily at helping him become the "the most dominant player in the league." "It was just for where I am right now in my career -- what I'm trying to do -- I thought the change was necessary," Davis said Monday, when the Pelicans held media day on the eve of training camp. "That's all it was."
Theoretically, Davis also could try to parlay his agency switch into a trade aimed at changing the balance of power in the NBA, but whether he does so remains to be seen. "I'm here," Davis said. "I want to focus on winning this year with the squad that we have. We have a good squad."
Assuming that Jimmy Butler is the next star to be traded in the NBA, who would come after that? For now, we shouldn’t expect Anthony Davis. While the Minnesota Timberwolves likely have to pursue a move to send Butler out sooner rather than later, many assume that Davis is the next to demand a trade from the New Orleans Pelicans. But according to Washington Post‘s Tim Bontemps during a recent podcast with Chris Mannix, this situation is incredibly unlikely
Tim Bontemps: “I don’t think there’s any chance, I’m going to say, now. I think there’s a zero percent chance that Anthony Davis is traded this year — under any circumstances. The only caveat I would give to that is if Anthony Davis announces: ‘I need to be traded today.’ But I do not see him doing that and I do not see the Pelicans trading him under any circumstances.”
Chris Mannix: "What everyone around the league is zeroing in on [is to see what Anthony Davis does]. They are waiting for the first time that Anthony Davis grumbles a little bit. They're waiting to see either private or public consternation from Anthony Davis. That's the first domino to fall: once he starts griping a little bit about what's going on there, and why they can't put their type of team around him, that's when you start to panic in New Orleans."
Chris Mannix: "When I talk to people down in New Orleans - and look, they're now fully entrenched there, I believe both the coaches and GM got extensions somewhat recently - they're not talking about moving Anthony Davis. They're not entertaining anything seriously about moving Anthony Davis. That could change, and probably will change once, and if, Davis starts grumbling publicly or privately about where they're at."
Are the Warriors still targeting New Orleans center Anthony Davis? Sure. Lacob and Myers love to circle the best names possible years in advance of their potential availability, and figure out how they might be able to land the biggest fish out there. It used to be Kevin Durant. Now the Warriors’ biggest target is Davis, and they understand that their clearest way to get him was to sacrifice several big parts of their foundation — maybe Klay Thompson and/or Draymond Green — in a trade.
Gorman doesn’t think it’s likely the Celtics trade Irving but if the team is serious in its pursuit of Pelicans big man Anthony Davis, Irving might have to be part of any legitimate offer the Celtics make. “Again, if you’re talking about the big guy from New Orleans [Anthony Davis] then you’re going to have to be talking about a really really, good player going back the other way. And that’s the only other player that the Celtics really would put everyone on the table for.”
Brian Windhorst: "I would just say, if the Celtics are looking for opportunities and sort of lay and wait, that might be one [Minnesota and Karl-Anthony Towns] right there. I don't think Anthony Davis is going anywhere, anytime soon. Karl Towns, that might be a different story."
I’ve long felt the Celtics should hold tight to their assets—from the Lakers/Kings first-round pick they received in the Tatum trade to Tatum himself—with the hopes of landing another big fish. But one executive I spoke with made a good point: The Pelicans trading Anthony Davis is nothing more than a fantasy. Even if AD, who can opt out of his current contract in 2020, was eventually made available, by that point, Boston may not even have the most to offer. Boston shouldn’t wait on that pipe dream, the executive contended, and should pounce on the next good opportunity that comes.
Scott Kushner: Anthony Davis: “I’m here until 2021 and then I’ll make a decision from there. I don’t plan on leaving in the next couple of years or anything like that. I’ve always said I wanted to be here and that’s still true.” Davis: "We have taken steps to be a winning franchise. We have just been hit with the injury bug every year since I've been here so we can't see our full potential. We know where we could've been if we had those guys. But we don't. We have to keep playing."
Storyline: Anthony Davis Trade
More HoopsHype Rumors
July 2, 2020 | 10:53 am EDT Update
The next edition of the NBA 2K video game series already has two cover athletes in New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson and Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard. A third iteration of the game will honor late Los Angeles Lakers legend and Hall of Famer Kobe Bryant. The new version, called the “Mamba Forever Edition” will be a special copy available for both current and next-generation consoles for $100. Bryant will be featured on the covers of both games, with him in his No. 8 jersey for current generation consoles and next-generation console editions will feature Bryant in his No. 24 jersey.
July 2, 2020 | 9:18 am EDT Update
Do you have a timetable? Like when you say, ‘I’m done’. Jamal Crawford: I don’t know if I have a timetable but I would think for me, it would probably be at some point next season. Like it may not be the beginning of next season, maybe a team that fighting for the playoffs later on in the season. And at that point, probably if it doesn’t happen, I would probably say, ‘Okay, that’s it’.
Storyline: Jamal Crawford Retirement?
Booker became a first-time All-Star this season, and was averaging 26.1 points, 6.6 assists and 4.2 rebounds per game while shooting 48.7 percent from the floor when the league shut down. Williams envisions Booker aiming to make another push for league-wide respect during this restart. “He wants to go to Orlando and cement himself as one of the better players in the league in a different way,” Williams said. “He made the All-Star team. Now he’s probably got his eyes set on All-NBA, and he’s more than capable.”
Monty Williams did not confirm nor deny if he typically enjoys roller-coaster intergalactic adventures. But the Suns coach emphasized that he will not be partaking in any during his team’s stay in Orlando beginning next week. “We’re not going to ride on Space Mountain and do the Disney thing,” Williams said Wednesday during a videoconference call with local reporters. “This is freakin’ ‘Braveheart’ and ‘Gladiator’ stuff that we are trying to will onto other teams, and that’s the mindset.”
The New Orleans Pelicans star and the 2019 No. 1 overall pick has been named the NBA 2K21 cover athlete on next-generation consoles. “Realizing that I am going to be on the cover of NBA 2K21 was one of those moments that I am still processing,” said Williamson over a Zoom chat with Sports Illustrated. “I dreamed about being on the cover and for 2K to give me this honor, it means a lot because I have always played 2K with teammates and all my friends growing up. 2K has always been there with me. Looking at each cover and thinking maybe one day I could possibly be on the cover of one of these and for it to actually happen is a lot to process.”
If basketball icon LeBron James gets his way, NBA arenas and other sports venues around the country will be mega polling sites for the November general election. James and his voting rights group, formed this spring with other black athletes and entertainers, are joining with other professional basketball leaders and Michigan’s top elections official to push for mega voting sites to accommodate in-person balloting amid the COVID-19 pandemic. More Than A Vote, the James organization dedicated to maximizing Black turnout in November, shared its plans with The Associated Press on Wednesday after the Detroit Pistons became the second NBA franchise to announce plans to use its arena for voting later this year. In Georgia, Fulton County elections officials this week approved the Atlanta Hawks’ proposal to use State Farm Arena as a polling site. Plans call for the arena to serve as a countywide early voting site ahead of Election Day.
July 2, 2020 | 3:44 am EDT Update
Back in 2010, James met with the New Jersey Nets, Los Angeles Clippers, Cavaliers and Chicago Bulls in addition to the Knicks and Heat as he contemplated his future. It’s easy to forget that James was said to be seriously considering the Knicks at the time. In fact, there was even a strong rumor that LeBron was going to choose the Knicks. So what happened? Bill Simmons said on his podcast that the Knicks’ meeting with James was a “disaster.” “They had a legendary meeting. Donnie Walsh was in the wheelchair, and (James) Dolan was Dolan. And it was just a complete – they didn’t have anything prepared. And it just couldn’t have gone worse, by all accounts. It was a disaster,” Simmons said.
The Decision was incredibly ill-advised and self-indulgent, but we all knew it was coming. Gilbert’s scathing reaction was somewhat predictable, since he found out LeBron was leaving at the same time as the rest of us. But that rally was so over-the-top. I will never forget the look on Pat Riley’s face when they panned to him in the stands. He looked mortified. Riley told me years later he was so busy making sure all the contracts for LeBron and Chris Bosh were in order that he didn’t pay much attention to what the team had planned. It showed.
As coronavirus cases rise in different regions across the United States, commissioner Adam Silver has made clear that the league is monitoring the numbers as it prepares to head for Orlando. Silver has described to league executives on conference calls recently that his goal is for the Disney World campus to be the safest place in the U.S. “We have confidence in the plan that we’ve built,” NBA deputy commissioner Mark Tatum told players and teams on a call this week, according to sources. “It was designed for this.”
Storyline: Coronavirus
Operating the three-month completion of the NBA season at the Walt Disney World Resort will cost the NBA more than $150 million, sources told ESPN. The league is housing 22 teams plus support staff at three resorts, has arranged for seven practice courts and is playing games at three arenas during the quarantine. It is also providing meals, daily coronavirus testing and other medical support, security, transportation and entertainment for more than 1,500 people during the height of the event.
Storyline: Orlando Bubble

Victor Oladipo not sure about playing

Indiana Pacers All-Star Victor Oladipo isn’t ready to commit to playing at the NBA restart in Orlando even though Wednesday is supposed to be the deadline for the 22 participating teams to declare their traveling list of 35. Except, league sources tell IndyStar, it’s not a firm deadline. “Nothing is locked in like a normal roster deadline,” one of the sources said.

Nikola Jokic feeling 'great'

Denver Nuggets All-Star center Nikola Jokic is feeling “great” and is expected to return to the United States in time to join the team flight to Orlando, Florida, according to coach Michael Malone. Jokic had his return to Denver delayed after testing positive for the coronavirus in Serbia, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Brian Windhorst reported on June 23. “Nikola feels great,” Malone said in a Zoom call with reporters on Wednesday. “We are working on getting him back here. Next Tuesday we depart for Orlando; the hope and expectation is that Nikola Jokic will be with us on that plane. From everything that I have heard and talked to him, he feels great, he feels fine and is excited to get back.”
This rumor is part of a storyline: 263 more rumors
Paul shared details on that night in what was the catalyst for the domino effect that before the night ended would lead to the NBA season suspension. Like many of the fan base, Richardson and Miles were watching and noted seeing Paul approach Joe Ingles at center court to ask where Rudy (Gobert) was. Even after nearly four months, the events of March 11th remain confounding for Paul who explained his feelings at the moment. It was crazy, and I tell you a little bit about it, but to tell you the truth it’s crazy man I’m doing a documentary about it, like a movie, like a movie about a sports stop with Antoine Fuqua and Brian Grazer. We doing a whole thing about that like getting perspectives from athletes of what happened.Man, listen, I ain’t never seen nothing like it. Never seen nothing like it.
Jared Weiss: Walker isn’t concerned about going into COVID hot zone: “I think we’re going to be pretty safe and secluded in the bubble.” Kemba: “I’m a single man with no kids, so I’ma be fine. All I do is stay in the house anyways, so there’s nothing wrong with me staying in the room. I’m actually looking forward to it cause I’m ready to play basketball. And it’s going to be set up so we can have fun.”
Here is how the coaches voted in The Athletic’s anonymous poll. When players received votes at more than one position, they were slotted at the position where they garnered the most votes. It is no surprise that Gobert and Antetokounmpo received the most first-team votes at their respective positions and led all vote-getters in total overall points. Gobert, the reigning two-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year, ranks fourth in rebounding (13.7 per game) and sixth in blocks (2.0 per game). Antetokounmpo is the top defender on the Milwaukee Bucks, who lead the league in defensive efficiency. The Greek Freak also ranks third in the league in rebounding (his 13.7 boards per game edging Gobert’s average by 0.027 boards per game).
Jamahl Mosley, a Knicks coaching candidate, is in his sixth season on Rick Carlisle’s Mavericks staff. The 41-year-old has emerged as one of the league’s top young assistants destined to take the next step. However, it was legendary coach George Karl — not Carlisle — who gave Mosley his first job in the NBA, hiring him to work out Nuggets players in 2006 for the paltry salary of $25,000. Mosley, a 6-foot-8 star power forward at the University of Colorado, was with Karl from 2006-10, going from player developmental coach to bench assistant coach in their last two seasons together. “I thought he had a great connection with today’s player,’’ the retired Karl told The Post from his home in Denver. “He was hungry. He was big in player development, then toward the end of his time, we gave him scouting reports, game-plan responsibilities. He was really good with basketball intellect and really good with players. That’s the combo you need in today’s world and changing attitudes of the young players.”
Storyline: Knicks Coaching Search

Storyline: Media Layoffs
July 1, 2020 | 9:33 pm EDT Update
“It’s two-fold,” Neil Olshey said Wednesday. “On one hand, I’m excited to see our guys play again. You know, the season ended so abruptly, we were just getting healthy. We were three days from getting ‘Nurk’ (Jusuf Nurkic) back and Zach (Collins) was on the horizon — he was about three weeks out from returning. At that point, Trevor (Ariza) was in the starting lineup, so the exciting thing is to see the guys out playing basketball again. I missed basketball.”
“I don’t think anyone can be cavalier about the health risks,” he said. “Our players and our traveling staff have tested negative over the course of our two weeks of mandatory testing. But, it’s a concern, and we have family members concerned about us going into the environment. I do think there will be diligence down there. I do think Adam’s (Commissioner Adam Silver) model of trying to make it the safest place in the country, i think the league will do everything in its power to do that. But I can’t tell you that people aren’t concerned about their health.”
Storyline: Orlando Bubble
Neil Olshey: “Guys have stayed. They are dialed in. They are locked in. They’re ignoring whatever the strength of schedule we’re going to face down there. And they’re going down with the mindset that Day One, this is playoff basketball for us. We’re training and preparing and we’re going to give it our best shot. One of the things that has been consistent with this group is that this is a group of closers. We’ve always been better the second half of the year. It’s a testament to the character of the guys we have and our coaching staff not burning guys out and keeping them engaged and I think you will see that when we get to Orlando.”
Gansey’s short-term plan is to scout players from afar with the hope he and the Pacers can reach an agreement for next season, a conversation that may not happen until after the NBA playoffs in October. “I can look at some other G League players and players who were on (two-way contracts) this year,” Gansey said. “You know, there are guys who have played overseas and I can do some scouting on some of these college guys and guys who are going to enter the draft here pretty soon.”
July 1, 2020 | 7:17 pm EDT Update
Not only is Howard juggling his responsibilities as a father with preparation for the finale to the season, but as a Black man he has also been deeply affected by the social unrest facing this country, according to Howard’s agent, Charles Briscoe. “Basketball, or entertainment period, isn’t needed at this moment, and will only be a distraction,” Howard said in a statement issued to CNN through Briscoe last month.
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