Storyline: Anthony Davis Trade?

459 rumors in this storyline

Griffin, though, is staying positive, citing his relationship with Davis’ agent, Rich Paul of Klutch Sports. Paul, of course, represents Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James. The King and Griffin won the 2016 championship together with the Cleveland Cavaliers. “But I look at the situation with very good optimism and the reason is I have a very good working relationship with Rich Paul,” Griffin said on ESPN’s The Jump. “I think there’s going to be appreciation on his part for the fact that I would not have come here if it wasn’t for the fact that Mrs. Benson and her ownership team weren’t completely committed to winning. They very much are. Because of that, I think some of the concerns that Anthony probably had, we’re going to be able to alleviate. “I feel like there is reason to be optimistic that he’s going to be open minded to coming back. But the real question is, what does it look like and can we give each other what we really need and be the sort of expression of greatness for one another. I hope that we can. But it’s certainly not something we believe can’t happen.”

More Rumors in this Storyline

1 week ago via ESPN

Lillard’s name rarely comes up. There’s no back channeling, no offshore recruiting going on at events or All-Star Games. He isn’t listening. But if you call, he’ll have something to say: If you want to play with a star, come here. We’re the ones that are winning. “I look at somebody that’s close in age with me that’s a really good player that could bump us up a level,” Lillard said. “When I think of that, I’m saying, OK, Anthony Davis. We’ve got a winning culture. We win, we’re not jealous of each other, we have a good time. “A player like that, when I think of these situations, that’s what I think of. He’ll win, he’ll get to be himself and he’ll get to be on a team that fits. I think he would be perfect for us.”

Davis formally requested to be traded in late January, and is expected to be dealt this summer. The fallout from Davis’ decision, and the Pelicans’ handling of the issue at the deadline, contributed to the firing of New Orleans GM Dell Demps, and the shocking resignation of Lakers president Magic Johnson on Tuesday night. According to Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry, the ordeal traces back to “bad advice” given to Davis. “I think he’s a great kid. I think he’s a very good kid. I think he’s a solid guy….. I think he got some bad advice. If you want me to tell the truth…. I’ll leave it at that. But there’s nothing wrong with AD. He’s a good solid guy with good character. That’s the way I feel.”

The Lakers will now turn their attention to an offseason in which they are expected to revisit trade options for Davis, while also chasing top targets in free agency – as unlikely as it is that Kawhi Leonard, Kevin Durant or Klay Thompson will come, according to a league source who believes the Lakers will be second or third on those players’ lists. The fear that the Lakers could strike out with their top targets has already led to some message massaging. “You don’t need names, you need games,” a source close to James told The Athletic. The Lakers could build a team of complementary pieces better suited for James, like Boston’s Marcus Morris or Milwaukee’s Nikola Mirotic, and fare better than they did this season. But it would run counter to Johnson’s stated philosophy. After all, on a World Series broadcast last fall, Johnson declared, “I’m going to get another superstar next summer!”


Kobe Bryant publicly endorsed trading the Los Angeles Lakers’ young players for Anthony Davis. The Lakers had included Kyle Kuzma, Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram in trade talks with the New Orleans Pelicans for Davis. “Kuzma, Lonzo, Ingram … Are all three better than Anthony Davis? No no!. Ciao! Bye! “Anthony Davis is one of the best players in the world. Not just now but in history. What are we talking about? If you can acquire Anthony Davis, you do it. If not, agree. We have three players who are very young and who work hard. They are intelligent and must be developed. But if you can acquire Anthony Davis … yes!”

The Lakers are going to miss the playoffs again. Will they figure it out this summer? Kobe Bryant: I feel like they’re in a position where they have two pathways that they can take. Both will work out just fine. But they’re both just different decisions, right? And what do you do with some of the young pieces that you have? Do you trade them, or do you keep them and allow them to develop? Either way will be fine. One will be a little faster than others in terms of fast-tracking and players you bring in to play with LeBron. Other may be a little slower in developing. May be. But they’re in a really good position. This season has been tough, but you know listen, they were playing well and then they got hit with a bunch of injuries in rapid succession and things happen sometimes. But they’ll be back next year.
1 month ago via SLAM

Do you think the Anthony Davis situation misled the franchise and the players? Kobe Bryant: “I say no. [Kyle] Kuzma, Lonzo [Ball], [Brandon] Ingram… are the three of them better than Anthony Davis? No! Ciao! Bye! Anthony Davis is one of the best players in the world. Not currently, in history. What are we talking about? If you can trade for Anthony Davis, you do it. If not, alright. We have three players who are very young and work hard. They’re smart and they have to develop. But if you can trade for Anthony Davis… yes!”

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.
1 month ago via ESPN

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.

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.
2 months ago via ESPN

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.”

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.”

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.”

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.
2 months ago via ESPN

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.
2 months ago via ESPN

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.”
2 months ago via ESPN

“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.

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 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.”
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April 25, 2019 | 5:37 am EDT Update
But the LA Clippers, who beat the Warriors 129-121 in Game 5 on Wednesday to extend their first-round series, took exception to being overlooked. “For us, our focus was to come in, extend the series and get another win on the home floor,” Clippers star reserve Lou Williams said after the win at Oracle Arena, which pushed the series to Game 6 on Friday in Los Angeles. “It’s their mistake for looking ahead. So that’s on them.”