NBA: Anthony Davis requests trade from New Orleans Pelicans

by Samuel Abasi Posted on January 28th, 2019

New Orleans, Louisiana: Five-time All-Star Anthony Davis officially wants out of New Orleans.

Davis’ agent Rich Paul told ESPN and The Athletic that he notified the New Orleans Pelicans that his client will not sign a contract extension with the franchise and has requested a trade. Davis, 25, is making $25.4 million this season and is under contract for $27 million during the 2019-20 season. He has a $28.7 million player option in 2020.

Davis is averaging a career-high 29.3 points, 13.3 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game this season for New Orleans. The No. 1 overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft has posted 24 points, 10.6 rebounds, 2.4 blocks and 2.1 assists per game during his seven-year tenure with the Pelicans.

He hasn’t played since Jan. 18 due to a sprained left index finger.

Davis spoke with his teammates before making the trade request.

“Anthony wants to be traded to a team that allows him the chance to win consistently and compete for a championship,” Paul told ESPN.

The Pelicans own a 22-28 record and sit in the No. 13 spot in the Western Conference standings.

Davis is having the best season of his career, averaging 29.3 points and 13.3 rebounds per game. He’ll almost certainly become a six-time All-Star later this week when the NBA announces the full rosters for this year’s game that will be played on 17 February in Charlotte.

The league’s trade deadline is 7 February, and the 25-year-old is likely to have a host of suitors. One possible destination is LeBron James’s Los Angeles Lakers. The Lakers have been interested in Davis in the past and he shares an agent with James.

Davis has played his entire career in New Orleans since being drafted as the No1 overall pick in 2012. In that time, the Pelicans have only made the playoffs twice, and have advanced past the first round once. This season they are 13th in the 15-team Western Conference and are on a three-game losing streak.

Boston is another possible destination, since the Celtics are a contender and have more than enough assets to make a good deal for New Orleans. But the Celtics cannot trade for Davis under NBA rules until 1 July, unless they also trade away Kyrie Irving which is unlikely to happen. Irving is a factor because of what’s known as the Rose Rule, which says NBA teams cannot trade for more than one player who has signed an extension. The Celtics could sign Irving in July and then trade for Davis. But until then, unless they move Irving, Davis won’t be in Boston.

Davis’s is the latest power move by a star player who wants to get traded, following a path now similar to Kawhi Leonard’s desire to be traded by San Antonio and Paul George’s decision to move on from Indiana. Telling the Pelicans that he won’t re-sign with them provides a blunt message: Move me, or lose me for nothing.

But New Orleans have been steadfast for months: The Pelicans have no desire to move their best player, who is in line to sign a $240m, five-year extension in 2020.

“We’re not trading him,” Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry said last month, one of many times he’s addressed the topic. “I can say that to the world. We’re not going to trade him, no matter what. That’s not an option.”

If the Los Angeles Lakers want to acquire Anthony Davis, the New Orleans Pelicans will need Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, Ivica Zubac, and a first-round pick as a start to any deal, sources told the L.A. Times’ Brad Turner.

Davis has formally requested a trade out of New Orleans, his agent Rich Paul announced Monday morning. The news comes with just over one week until the Feb. 7 trade deadline.

The Boston Celtics, who have been frequently linked to Davis, can’t trade for him until July 1 because he’s signed under the same “Rose Rule” contract extension that Kyrie Irving is. A team can have only one such contract on its books at the same time.

Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry accused LeBron James and the Lakers of tampering last month after James mused publicly about playing next to Davis.

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