Mike Vorkunov: About Anthony Davis, @Adrian Wojnarowski reports on ESPN that "the Knicks will be aggressive." I don't know how Knicks can get a deal done if Davis wants to go a title contender — a place they're not at right now and could get further away from by trading the assets needed to land AD.
Marc Stein: Anthony Davis' agent Rich Paul tells @NYTSports he has NOT given the Pelicans a preferred trade destination for Davis. But Davis' July 2020 free agency obviously gives hm huge say in where he lands since no team will surrender meaningful assets for a player it can't re-sign
This is an opportunity for the Los Angeles Lakers to be aggressive in offering a package for Davis prior to Boston's inclusion into talks. Paul also represents Lakers star LeBron James, and the Lakers have been determined to acquire Davis in a deal, league sources said.
Chris Mannix: There’s really only one reason for AD’s agent to go public with a trade demand this early—to give the Lakers a head start on trade talks before Boston can get into the mix this summer. Why else risk AD spending the next few months as the villain?
Albert Nahmad: Anthony Davis could earn $267M from the Pelicans over the next six years if he signs a “super-max” extension. But, if he’s traded, his various alternatives could be just as attractive. Here’s a comparison with one possibility: pic.twitter.com/YRDwqDqDUy
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."
Adrian Wojnarowski: On timing of telling Pelicans now, Rich Paul tells ESPN: "Anthony wanted to be honest and clear with his intentions and that's the reason for informing them of this decision now. That's in the best interests of both Anthony's and the organization's future."
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.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Agent Rich Paul has notified the New Orleans Pelicans that All-NBA forward Anthony Davis has no intention of signing a contract extension if and when presented and that he has requested a trade, Paul told ESPN on Monday.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Rich Paul to ESPN on a preferred destination for Anthony Davis: "Anthony wants to be traded to a team that allows him the chance to win consistently and compete for a championship."
Adrian Wojnarowski: "Maybe the most intriguing team at the deadline are the New Orleans Pelicans. They are determined to try and find a way to convince Anthony Davis to stay long term. They could offer him a five-year, around $240 million super-max contract this offseason. If he says no to that, he's essentially serving notice that he's headed for free agency in 2020. The organization's got to make a decision about whether they ride that out with him, maybe go into the summer, or do they want to make a trade, get back assets for a player, who, if he was on the trade market, would be as impactful of an available player via trade as maybe we've seen in the last decade in the NBA."
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.
For Garnett, who was arguably the last player of such standing and influence to have been traded at his peak, the answer is simple. Go west, young man. "I told Anthony Davis this to his face," Garnett told USA TODAY Sports in a telephone conversation this week. " 'You are not playing against the guys you are squaring up against every night. You are playing against history, man.'”
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.
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.
Players on other teams and a few of Davis’ teammates at times have privately suggested to the forward that the best outcome for him might be to move on, sources told Yahoo Sports. Davis, publicly, has professed his love for New Orleans and has tried to keep his focus on the season at hand.
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."
As it stands, there is no indication that the 25-year-old Davis wants to be traded. But with the Feb. 7 trade deadline nearing and LeBron sending clear signs that he wants to partner with Davis, there is a strong sense that now is the time for the Lakers to attempt to make this move.
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.
Bill Oram: Asked about LeBron’s comments about Anthony Davis this week, Kyle Kuzma said, “Who wouldn’t want to play with him? I’m sure I would want to play with him too. He’s a top five player in the league. So Michael Jordan would probably want to play with him too.”
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.
Just remember it holds no real-world implications at the moment. None. Instead, it’s far more likely the Pelicans are a buyer than a seller over the next six weeks in the trade market. Sources confirmed general manager Dell Demps is dutifully trying to bolster his roster in an attempt to make noise in this year’s playoffs. The Pelicans want to tempt Davis into re-signing by giving him a championship vision. And the only way to do it is by winning this season.
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."
Will Guillory: Just spoke to Pelicans GM Dell Demps about LeBron's comments on AD. His response: "We're going to let the league handle it. We're just worried about our team. People can say whatever they want to say. That's not our concern."
Jennifer Hale: 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."
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.
The other relevant fact in all this is if the Pelicans do entertain offers for Davis, who cannot opt out and become a free agent until the summer of 2020, the Celtics will have the most to offer in terms of quality players and quantity of first-round draft picks. League execs have speculated that Irving and Jayson Tatum might be the only untouchables — and even that could be negotiable for a star who won’t turn 26 until March.
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
June 12, 2021 | 8:31 am EDT Update
Sergio Scariolo is a strong candidate for Virtus Bologna head coaching job, as reported by Il Corriere dello Sport and confirmed to Sportando. Sasha Djordjevic’s departure from Virtus Bologna was almost certain when Serie A playoffs started, also considering the elimination in EuroCup semifinals against Unics Kazan and the missed chance to play in EuroLeague next season.
In the locker room after the Nets’ 86-83 loss, there were lots of “atta boys” and “pick your head ups” and “we’ll live with that shot” from teammates, but Irving had a little piece of extra advice. Be like dad. Dunk it. “Kyrie was like, ‘Hey, you gotta try and dunk it, get a foul or something,’” Brown said. “That’s definitely what I should have done. I had the lane and the angle too, so maybe if I did that I’d have gotten a foul call, gotten to the line. If I had taken my two steps toward the rim, I probably could’ve dunked the ball.”
The available replays call into question this very idea. Lopez is 7-feet tall, and he’d recovered quickly from where he was on the sideline to get in Brown’s way. Brown faded left as he shot the ball, and, “I shot it too hard, I was trying to get it up a little higher, but he was nowhere near the ball, looking at the pictures and the film. “I could’ve just really did a simple layup and made the shot,” he said. “I made it difficult for myself just thinking too much during the shot.”
Harris wasn’t the only one misfiring in the Nets’ 86-83 loss. Add in Landry Shamet (1-for-4) and Mike James (1-for-5), and three Nets who can make a defense pay for double-teaming Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving were a combined 3-for-20 from the field, including 2-for-11 from 3-point range. If those supporting cast numbers are repeated Sunday in Game 4, the series soon could be tied. “If you look at it, only one or two buckets in the last three or four minutes that we needed to fall and they just didn’t,” coach Steve Nash said. “I thought plenty of opportunities. Now, would I want Kevin or Ky shooting every single ball? Of course, but that’s not always the way it works out. We can learn from it.”
Phoenix went on a 14-2 run to build a 20-point lead on the way to a 116-102 win Friday to take a commanding 3-0 series lead in this best-of-7 conference semifinal series. “We have our eyes on the prize,” All-Star guard Devin Booker said.
Durant is 25 of 45 in the 10- to 14-foot range in these playoffs. No other player has made more than 17 playoff jumpers in that zone. Durant is 17 of 32 from the 15- to 19-foot range. No other player has made more than 12 playoff jumpers in that zone. Who is that next player? Devin Booker. He’s not quite Durant, from a potency or accuracy standpoint. But he’s the closest thing the NBA has to Durant right now. Booker is 17 of 33 in that 10- to 14-foot range and 12 of 26 in that 15- to 19-foot range. Combine both zones and Durant has made 42, Booker has made 29 and Kawhi Leonard has made 24 in these playoffs. That’s one, two, three in the rankings. Decent company for Phoenix’s rising three-level scorer.
Paul’s stabilizing presence has been a huge reason why the Suns are a game away from ending Denver’s season. He has scored 30 points on 12-of-13 shooting, including 4-of-4 from 3-point range, with eight assists and no turnovers combined in the three fourth quarters in this series, according to ESPN Stats & Information research. “We just got to make it more difficult on him,” Nuggets guard Monte Morris said. “He’s a Hall of Fame point guard, top five easily, still playing in the NBA. … He’s getting everybody involved. CP is a tough cover for anybody, but we have to just stick to our game plan and try to execute it the best way we can.
The Lakers had the best regular-season defense in the NBA and still gave up 106.8 points per 100 possessions. This is the steroid era of offensive efficiency. Ratings have spiked the past half-decade. But Phoenix is defending at a playoff rate equivalent to the 2014 title Spurs. They have a 101.6 defensive rating during this six-game win streak and 103.9 rating in these playoffs.