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.”
Ben Golliver: Blazers’ CJ McCollum: “We got swept last year. It was on TV every day. They talked about me getting traded, how we can’t win together. I was able to fly to Europe to see my brother play because the season ended so early. I told him this year, I ain’t going to be able to make it.”
It will also frustrate teams looking for a versatile point guard in his prime, hoping that Holiday would be on the block. League sources say the Suns are considered a top contender should Holiday be made available, the ideal fit for a team badly in need of a multifaceted veteran at the point. But Orlando would have interest, too, as would Chicago – though Holiday’s brother, Justin, did not have a sterling experience with the Bulls this season before being traded to the Grizzlies.
There isn’t much optimism that Griffin can persuade Davis to stay in New Orleans, and surely, he knows that. But meeting with Davis and his agent, Rich Paul, is more about mending fences and restoring the Pelicans’ reputation, especially among agents.
The Charlotte Hornets had a chance to swing the table and prove to Kemba Walker they’re capable of acquiring talent by trading for Marc Gasol. Yet when a potential deal slipped from their grip, the Hornets star was deflated to see he would no longer be getting help to chase a spot in the postseason. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski detailed the incident in The Woj Pod: “I got the sense in talking to people, that trade deadline really deflated him,” Wojnarowski said of Walker. “When they were pretty close on a Marc Gasol deal, and it fell apart. It didn’t happen. He goes to Toronto. And he looks around and goes, “Come on, what are we trying to do here?”
Batum was a major topic of conversation when the players, Borrego and general manager Mitch Kupchak met with media post-season. I asked Borrego last week where Batum fits going forward. “Rick, I don’t really know,” Borrego replied.