Jayson Tatum on whether the Anthony Davis trade talks between New Orleans and Boston last month affected his game… (The two teams can’t do a deal until this summer, but are known to have had preliminary talks that included the possibility of Tatum being included). “Nah, because I just love to play basketball. I’ll play for whoever wants me, and that organization. You know, this is a business, and I understand that it’s not always personal. I’m kind of mature for my age, I understood. I’ve been in this business for a long time, so if it happened it happened, if it didn’t then my job was to just go play basketball.
Something like the opposite has happened. Parceling out blame is tricky. LeBron is so powerful that separating him from any part of an organization is impossible. The midseason gambit to acquire Anthony Davis almost certainly doesn't happen, or become so public, without at least LeBron's tacit go-ahead. Those talks sapped morale, sources say. Ditto for Magic Johnson's post-deadline lecture about treating the Lakers' young players "like babies." LeBron's eye-rolling on-court scoldings, a staple whenever he feels things sinking, did nothing to reverse any of that. Unbecoming, but not new.
Here is what we do know. The Lakers made several aggressive offers to New Orleans involving all of their core young players of Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma and Josh Hart. The Pelicans had no intent to trade Davis before the offseason, however, especially not to the Lakers, league sources said. The NBA is a business, however, and these conversations involving the Lakers’ talented young core was warranted, whether they were taken personally or not.
It is possible Buss was not made aware of every aspect of the play-by-play as trade talks developed. Throughout the two-week saga stemming from Davis’ trade request, the Pelicans became frustrated about how public the Lakers-initiated discussions had become. “We get off the phone with (the Lakers), and a minute later, offers are out there,” one Pelicans source with direct knowledge of discussions told The Athletic.
Yet, according to a source with knowledge of the situation, the real root of the comments was much more nuanced it might have appeared. From Jeanie on down, there is a growing belief that rival teams like New Orleans have gone to great lengths to do the kind of subversive damage that is nearly impossible to prove. Johnson himself has said that he doesn’t believe the Pelicans negotiated in good faith, and it certainly was unique to see trade packages with remarkable specificity being reported throughout the process.
New Orleans Pelicans star Anthony Davis, who requested a trade earlier this season, said on LeBron James' HBO show that he's asserting a greater degree of control over his career. "All the media coverage [is] around me, and now I'm getting a chance to take over my career and say what I want to say and do what I want to do," Davis said on an episode of "The Shop with LeBron James" that aired on HBO on Friday. "So now you see everybody [saying], 'All right, I see AD changing.' Everybody's telling me, 'You're growing up. It's about time to take care of your business, take care of your career.' So now, as a player, as the CEO of my own business, I've got the power. I'm doing what I want to do and not what somebody tells me to do."
Davis, who can become a free agent in 2020, said the uncertainty in the aftermath of his trade demand has been challenging. "It is tough because you just don't know. I don't know," he said. "I have one year left on contract, so I'm not sure what they're gonna do. Obviously, I stated my intentions. But I did that this year and they [said], 'No, we're going to keep you here.' So for me, it's just not knowing what's going to happen."
The Celtics are playing to win it all — but they are also focusing on winning in June and July, too. Around the NBA’s Feb. 7th trade deadline, Boston made their intentions clear to the New Orleans Pelicans surrounding their pursuit of All-NBA star Anthony Davis after the season, league sources told The Athletic: Everyone can be available.
Chris Haynes on where Anthony Davis will be to start the 2019-20 season: "I'm going to go with the Lakers. That's my prediction: I think he starts next season with the Lakers… If he maintains the stance that he's not doing Boston [long-term] – and that's with or without Kyrie [Irving] – I think LA has the best package. We may have to wait and see about New York because if they get the No. 1 overall pick, they could be in the game as well. But I think, at the end of the day, he'll end up in LA.”
Ainge was not able to address a possible Davis deal specifically, but when asked about the possibility of signing a player to a two-year deal with the intention of using the salary in a trade this summer, he said: “We’ve looked at all those possibilities, yeah. We’re just waiting to see. Nothing is in the works.”
"The Celtics, I'm told, are still not a long-term destination for him in his mind." - @ShamsCharania has the latest on the Anthony Davis trade rumors.
If anyone understands what Anthony Davis is thinking, asking for a trade out of New Orleans with nearly 1 1/2 seasons left on his contract, it's Abdul-Jabbar. His trade request came with two years left on his contract in Milwaukee. Eventually, he got his wish in the summer that followed his ask and got traded to the Los Angeles Lakers. "I think that the players have power because they have value," Abdul-Jabbar said. "The players that teams know that they can win with are going to be in a position to dictate what they want to do."
Again, the original information regarding Davis, the Celtics and Irving came from people close to Davis. And on Saturday, twice, Davis said, “I never said Boston wasn’t on my list.” It’s fair to wonder, then, whether Davis’ thoughts on Irving’s likelihood of re-signing with the Celtics as a free agent have changed?
I asked Irving after Sunday’s game what he made of Davis’ adding of the Celtics to his list. “Oh, he did, did he?” Irving said. “I don’t think I have a comment on that right now.”
6. I asked Irving after Sunday’s game what he made of Davis’ adding of the Celtics to his list. “Oh, he did, did he?” Irving said. “I don’t think I have a comment on that right now.”
Scott Kushner: Silver said the AD trade demand really wasn’t 18 months early for the Pelicans, because there CBA basically makes it so the summer was the real understanding of whether Davis was going to stay.
Michael Singer: Adam Silver acknowledges awkward situation of having to intervene re. Anthony Davis, Pelicans and issue of whether he should play. Said issues like these are extremely context-based and can’t be easily solved by plugging issue into a computer.
Vincent Goodwill: Adam Silver, while making note of historical players who've forced themselves out of cities (re: Anthony Davis): "No I don't like trade demands and I wish they'd be handled behind closed doors."
Scott Kushner: Silver says the law of unintended consequences came into play with these trade demands. The reason they enacted the ability to extend a contract a year before it expired was to protect the teams. Of course, it didn’t work that way for the Pelicans in 2019.
When Davis asked to be traded last month, the All-Star forward provided the front office with a list of teams he’d prefer to be traded to. The Knicks were among those teams and Steve Mills, the Knicks president, had informal talks with Demps about a possible deal centered around Davis and Kristaps Porzingis. According to a source familiar with the talks, Demps was not prepared to trade Davis to New York before knowing where the Knicks will select in the 2019 NBA Draft. The Knicks then traded Porzingis to the Dallas Mavericks.
Griffin, who won a title in Cleveland with LeBron James, was considering an offer to become Knicks GM two years ago before turning down the job. According to a Knicks source, Griffin lost interest in the job when Mills signed Tim Hardaway Jr. to a free agent contract while the Knicks were negotiating with Griffin to run the team. Griffin, who was led to believe he’d have full autonomy, quickly learned that Mills wasn’t about to relinquish any power. The message was that they would share the duties of running the Knicks. No one knows if that experience would make Griffin reluctant to deal with the Knicks’ front office. Those who know Griffin say his personality is to simply look for the best deal and, if the Knicks offered the most attractive package, he would take it.
Zarren’s name should worry both the Knicks and Lakers greatly. He is the right-hand man to Celtics GM Danny Ainge, who is expected to pursue Davis this summer. Besides the fact that Boston has the assets to put together a deal that can blow away the competition, Ainge’s relationship with Zarren would give the Celtics a significant edge.
Michael Singer: Anthony Davis was asked about allure of NY as a big market: "Great franchise, playing in obviously the Garden, the city, but also you know Milwaukee was on that list, too. It doesn’t matter about big market, small market. It’s about winning for me."
New Orleans owner Gayle Benson has been angry over the Davis trade demand and her belief that "outside forces" are trying to push the franchise into decisions that don't make sense for them, league sources said. Her mandate has been to "take back control from outside forces," one league source told ESPN. Benson has been adamant with the organization to find a pathway to sustainable winning in one of the league's smallest markets, and plans to be aggressive in pursuing the best available candidates to oversee basketball operations, league sources said.
Benson owns the Pelicans and New Orleans Saints NFL team, and had Demps reporting to Saints GM Mickey Loomis. The Pelicans are eager to conduct a search that will attract a top basketball executive who'll take on a more prominent role in the franchise. Benson is promising to pursue a top-level GM to revitalize a franchise that's coming to a crossroads with the Davis trade. Among preliminary possible candidates, league sources tell ESPN: Former Cleveland GM David Griffin.
In Barkley’s view, though, the Lakers, who reportedly offered a trade package that included Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma and multiple draft picks, have no reason to hang their heads about their inability to consummate a deal. "At some point Anthony Davis is going to be with the Lakers,” Barkley predicted. “The fix is in. I actually got a call from Rich Paul. I said, ‘Dude, the fix is in, you know he’s going to the Lakers.’ Once [Davis] signed with Klutch, the fix was in.”
Is this Davis’s fault? The decision to take his trade request public backfired, putting the Pelicans in this position. That Davis took this tact is puzzling. Handled quietly, and the Pelicans might have been more open to dealing with the Lakers, sources familiar with the situation told The Crossover. But Davis’s attempt to bully his way to LA, coupled with internal questions about whether the Lakers, who are headlined by LeBron James, who is represented by Rich Paul, who also represents Davis, had a hand in all this only served to cement the Pelicans resistance to dealing with Los Angeles—for now, anyway.
The questions about his playing future won’t stop during the All-Star break either. Saturday’s open media session could be especially challenging for Davis. And all eyes will be on him during Sunday’s All-Star Game when he teams up with LeBron James, who has made it known that he wants Davis to join the Los Angeles Lakers. “You got to prepare for it,” Davis told The Undefeated last month about handling All-Star Weekend. “I got asked the questions before, but my answers going to stay the same. My job is to focus on the Pelicans; the other stuff, I let whoever handle it. … My job is to focus on trying to be the most competent player, help this team get to the playoffs. The rest of it is going to be talked about when it’s talked about.”
The communication between the Pelicans and Lakers was almost nonexistent leading up to the trade deadline. Saying there were negotiations might not even be accurate. By all accounts it was a one-way conversation, with the Lakers opening up their wallet and the Pelicans turning up their nose.
“I was talking to about the Celtics the other day and they said the worst thing that happened to the Celtics was their success last season. Because now you’ve got Tatum, [Jaylen] Brown, [Terry] Rozier — these young guys are thinking dude, we went to Game 7 of the East Finals without you, Kyrie, without you, Hayward. We’re this level of player … This summer, they could be gone. They might up end in New Orleans [for Davis]. It’s gossip, but the gossip is Jayson Tatum wouldn’t mind if he’s shipped to New Orleans and has a chance to be the face of the franchise somewhere. Because he’s not going to get that opportunity in Boston, at least not in the immediate future.”
If the Knicks luck out in the lottery with a top-two pick, the Pelicans will pay attention to them on draft night. A potential scenario is the Pelicans crafting a draft-night deal when the picks are revealed. In the Knicks’ case, the trade wouldn’t become official July 1 when they have their $74 million in cap space. The Knicks have plenty of young assets the Pelicans would consider, according to a source. Along with a lottery pick in June and one of the two Dallas first-rounders, the Pelicans can choose between two of the following: Smith, Kevin Knox, Frank Ntilikina, Mitchell Robinson and Damyean Dotson.
If the Pelicans eventually trade Davis for a package heavy on rebuilding assets, keep an eye on Holiday. He wants to be in a place where he can compete in the postseason and is waiting to see the Davis return, sources say.
Brian Windhorst: "I think the risk profile on this, looking at what the Lakers actually had to trade, the risk profile Anthony Davis and his team elected to take was a little bit unsavory. I thought the chance of them getting what they wanted was not high enough to the damage he was going to accept. But it could have worked."
The Lakers, however, were unable to persuade the Pelicans to surrender Davis during the exclusive negotiating window they had to pursue him in the wake of Davis’s Jan. 28 request to be traded. The front offices of Los Angeles and New Orleans had no discussions about Davis on deadline day, according to two people familiar with the talks, after negotiations broke down Tuesday over what the Lakers deemed to be exorbitant demands from New Orleans.
Scott Kushner: I’m told this not a situation where the Pelicans can put AD in uniform and immediately bench him after a minute or two. He’s going to play real minutes. This is a truly bizarre situation.
Adrian Wojnarowski: After considering the possibility of shutting down All-NBA center Anthony Davis, the New Orleans Pelicans plan to allow Davis back into the lineup for the rest of the season, league sources tell ESPN.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Sources: Despite Pelicans concerns about its prized asset possibly getting injured and losing value on trade market, league office had concerns about Pels forcing a healthy star to sit out rest of season. Still, Pels decided they wanted him back on floor, which Davis wanted too.
New Orleans Pelicans General Manager Dell Demps released the following statement today: “Anthony Davis will play the remainder of the 2018-19 season for the New Orleans Pelicans. A number of factors contributed to this decision. Ultimately, Anthony made it clear to us that he wants to play and he gives our team the best opportunity to win games. Moreover, the Pelicans want to preserve the integrity of the game and align our organization with NBA policies. We believe Anthony playing upholds the values that are in the best interest of the NBA and its fans. We look forward to seeing Anthony in a Pelicans uniform again soon.”
Chris Mannix: Danny Ainge says there is no specific offer or deal in place/promised to New Orleans. Says he has a good relationship with the Pelicans front office.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Nearly 3 hours away from the NBA's trade deadline and ... the Lakers-Pelicans talks on Anthony Davis are dormant, league sources tell ESPN. No communication, nor an expectation that they'll even speak today. Pelicans seem content to run out the clock.
Nevertheless, league sources believe the Pelicans don’t see the Knicks as having a strong enough package to offer for Davis, unless they win either the first or second pick in May’s lottery.
No matter how redundant or ridiculous the inquiries, the responses from Davis' teammates never wavered. "I love having Anthony around," Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday said. "It's been fun playing with him, fighting and battling with him."
Chris Haynes: "It’s possible they’re going to hold [Davis] out until the conclusion of the trade deadline and even possibly after that if he remains a Pelican. There’s a chance during the second half of the season, I was told, that they would probably look to shut him down to a certain extent … If it does get to that point where he’s still a Pelican after the deadline and the organization decides to make that move on sitting him down, that’s where I think we’re in uncharted territory. And I know for a fact Anthony Davis will probably file a grievance."
This will still be an anxious week for the Boston brass, knowing the team will be sidelined from negotiations as other teams try to pry Davis from the Pelicans. Some rival executives have wondered why the Pelicans would rush to make a decision now, with the likelihood that the Lakers’ offer will still be there come the offseason. At that time, New Orleans would be able to better judge its other offers, including that from Boston. Jayson Tatum is widely viewed as the best prospect potentially on the table. The Celtics also have a list of other talented young players, like Marcus Smart and Jaylen Brown, plus a number of draft picks to sweeten the offer. Even if the Kings’ pick isn’t likely to land where Boston hoped entering the season, the Celtics have the pieces to compete with anyone else’s offer — and they intend to be aggressive, sources said, assuming they actually get the chance to enter the race.
According to league sources, the Pelicans reached out to the Celtics this week to discuss the framework of a possible Davis deal, ostensibly to ensure that if they pass up on other offers before Thursday’s deadline, it would be for good reason.
Sources said the Pelicans have sought guarantees from the Celtics surrounding specific packages, but the Celtics have been reluctant to make absolute promises, simply because so much can transpire in five months, such as injuries. Nevertheless, sources said, the Celtics have made it clear that they will be ready and willing to offer an explosive package when the time arrives, and that no specific player will be off limits in negotiations.
While questions about the long-term Celtic futures of Irving and perhaps Davis loom, sources said it has been made clear from ownership down that the focus of this season should be on trying to win a championship now. Within the organization, there is a belief that it remains possible, and the fact that the Celtics have won 10 of their last 11 games, have the third-best net rating in the league, and have generally thrived when healthy has served as evidence.
Adrian Wojnarowski: The New Orleans Pelicans still haven't responded on the Los Angeles Lakers' most recent trade proposal for Anthony Davis, league sources tell ESPN. Pelicans have yet to engage L.A. on trade talks. Deadline is nearly 24 hours away.
Marc Stein: Separate from all things Anthony Davis, New Orleans continues to explore trades for Julius Randle and Nikola Mirotic in advance of Thursday's 3 PM deadline, league sources say
Despite Anthony Davis being listed as questionable headed into Wednesday's matchup against the Chicago Bulls, New Orleans Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry said the team plans to sit the five-time All-Star center until after Thursday's trade deadline. "He is [available], but we're not going to play him until after the trading deadline," Gentry said. "I think everybody can understand that."
"Obviously, it's on everyone's mind," Gentry said. "But we just try to put it on the backburner, and focus on the task at hand. I think everything kind of clears up [after Davis is traded], at least for a while. And you can go back to I guess whatever our new normal is going to be. It's just part of it. It's part of the business, and you just deal with it like you would anything else."
Chris Mannix: "Boston is not saying [to New Orleans] that Jayson Tatum will be in the [Anthony Davis] deal. That's what I've been told. They're not saying he's not, but they're not going to directly say that they're willing to trade Jayson Tatum, because the Celtics are trying to balance these trade talks with what they're trying to do this year."
And when a report surfaced Monday that Anthony Davis would be willing sign a long-term deal with the Bucks — the Bucks! — if they could swing a deal for him, that amounted to the stamp of approval that every team is looking for, especially a small-market team with only one title in its history and no trips out of the first round of the playoffs since 2001. "I saw that report, and I think it’s great," Bucks co-owner Marc Lasry told Sporting News near the Barclays Center court after his team shredded a depleted Nets club in Brooklyn. "It’s a little bit of what we want. We want players to come and play in Milwaukee. And part of it is, when you’re winning and you’re setting a standard for excellence, people see that. People want to win.
This latest Lakers-Celtics subplot would be dead by now if Ainge had been scared off, but sources say Boston — which can’t trade for Davis until this summer because of the well-chronicled “Rose Rule” — is continuing its complicated pursuit of the five-time All-Star in spite of the message being sent through various channels that he doesn’t want to play there. A source with knowledge of the talks said the potential centerpiece in a Pelicans package, 20-year-old Celtics small forward Jayson Tatum, has been discussed extensively by the two teams and is expected to be a major part of the talks when June rolls around.
The Clippers wanted to move themselves into contention as players in the marketplace for stars wanting to get to the Los Angeles market, and the picks could go a long way to building a significant arsenal. The Clippers didn't make the deal specifically to pursue New Orleans All-NBA center Anthony Davis, sources said, but for star players like him who invariably become available in the marketplace.
Davis included the Clippers on a list of teams he'd be willing to commit long-term if traded, but Clippers president Lawrence Frank and general manager Michael Winger didn't make the trade with the primary objective to pursue Davis, league sources said. New Orleans could have interest in the Clippers assets prior to Thursday's trade deadline, and perhaps again in the offseason if Davis remains on the Pelicans roster.
Eric Pincus: Clippers could try to package Gallinari with young pieces (Shai?) and go for AD - or they can just be patient and wait for the summer and go cap room + trade
Shams Charania: Sources: Anthony Davis has been medically cleared to play from his left index finger fracture, but the New Orleans Pelicans do not intend to play him before Thursday's trade deadline. Davis is expected to be inactive against the Bulls on Wednesday night.
Shams Charania: The Pelicans will re-evaluate their position on sitting Davis if and when the deadline passes with no deal, league sources said.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Pelicans listing Anthony Davis as questionable for Wednesday's game with Chicago.
The Lakers have “pulled out” of any more conversations in trying to acquire New Orleans All-Star Anthony Davis because of the Pelican’s “outrageous” trade requests, according to a person with knowledge of the situation not authorized to speak publicly.
Magic Johnson, the Lakers president of basketball operations, told New Orleans general manager Dell Demps Tuesday morning that Los Angeles had made its best offer that the Pelicans had wanted, but that the Lakers were not willing to add anything else and would be moving on, a person said. The Lakers were not going to give the Pelicans the six to eight draft picks they wanted for Davis, the person said, knowing that the four first-round picks and second-round picks were more than the Lakers would offer.
Late Monday night, the Lakers changed their offer at the request of the Pelicans, two people said. The Lakers had agreed to send their entire young core of Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart and Ivica Zubac to the Pelicans, as well as veteran guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, the people said. The Lakers were also winning to also send the Pelicans two first-round draft picks.
“They wanted more and more and more,” said one person. “There was no more to give. They had cap-relief with Hill being in the deal. But the more they wanted the more it because outrageous and unrealistic.” One person said the Pelicans are hopeful that if Davis isn’t traded by the NBA’s Thursday noon (Pacific Time) deadline, that he’ll want to stay and play for the Pelicans going forward. “But that’s not going to happen,” the person said. “AD is not changing his mind.”
September 18, 2021 | 9:28 pm EDT Update
The Houston Rockets have waived forward Tyler Bey. This waiver was necessary to create the roster spot for Houston to re-sign Dante Exum. The Rockets signed Bey to a fully non-guaranteed training camp contract in late-August.
September 18, 2021 | 5:41 pm EDT Update
You’re here for at least the next five years now that you’ve signed an extension. Do you allow yourself to think – or dream – about what might come over that time span since you’ve talked openly about wanting to win a title in New York? Have you allowed yourself to think about how things might progress? Julius Randle: Obviously, it’s a process. Everything is a process. We’ve been building this from the ground up. But for me, personally, that is the expectation (winning a title in New York). That’s what I want to happen within that time frame. There’s a lot of things, factors that go into that. So obviously you’ve got to weigh that stuff in.
Julius Randle: But as far as myself, I know Thibs (Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau) is thinking (it as well), it’s just win at all costs. For me personally, that’s just how I prepare myself. I prepare myself to compete at the highest level of our game. Like I said, there’s a lot of factors (that go into winning an NBA title). But I trust Leon (Knicks president Leon Rose), I trust Thibs, Wes (Knicks vice president William Wesley), our coaches, Scott (Knicks GM Scott Perry) – all these guys, I trust. That was part of my process in thinking of signing the extension and that’s my goal, that’s our goal as a team and the guys that are around us. We want to be able to say that we won a championship here in New York. I don’t think there’s any better feeling than that.
Did you guys see the video clip of Trae Young at the Garden with WWE? Do you care about that stuff? Julius Randle: Yeah I see it. But honestly, I don’t care. Obviously, that’s (for) entertainment purposes and all that (stuff), so I let people enjoy it. For me, honestly, I don’t care. I honestly didn’t even watch it. Knicks fans, they’re going to make a big deal out of it – they didn’t like it (laughs). But it’s all fun and games and hopefully they enjoyed it.
September 18, 2021 | 12:10 pm EDT Update
The Rockets have officially re-signed guard Dante Exum and waived Tyler Bey to create a roster space for him, according to the NBA’s transactions log. Hoops Rumors’ JD Shaw was the first to report the Bey transaction (Twitter link). With John Wall not expected to play for the team this season as it seeks to trade him, the Rockets were in the market for another point guard. The Rockets’ interest in Exum surfaced on Tuesday.
When the Timberwolves traded up to get Leandro Bolmaro last November in the 2020 NBA Draft (yes, it was less than a year ago… it still feels weird), the question was would it be a year or two before Bolmaro came over from Barcelona to play in the NBA. The answer is one. Minnesota reached a deal and Bolmaro will be with the Timberwolves in training camp, the team announced Saturday. This is not a surprise; he was expected to come over this season. He will be playing on a rookie scale contract.