Image from: https://www.sbnation.com/nba/2018/12/19/18148057/anthony-davis-rumors-lakers-lebron-james-trade-gmib
Drama in the league today. General Manager’s from several small market teams in the NBA are angry at the comment Lebron James made when he was asked about playing with Anthony Davis. James during an interview said it would be “amazing” to put himself and AD together on the Lakers. After that surfaced it left speculation that Lebron was tampering with the league and the league’s rules.
A Western Conference GM told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski “If these are the rules enforce them.” It is obvious teams are looking to add superstars to their roster to win championships, but are some teams doing too much? The Warriors were the first to start this issue after winning two titles after adding MVP Kevin Durant to their already star-studded roster. This offseason they went and added All-Star Center Demarcus Cousins which shook the league yet again. So teams are rapidly looking to add beef to their lineup to make a title run.
Woj was told by the GM “If you want to push AD to L.A. if you allow Lebron to interfere with teams, then just do it. Change the rules, and say ‘It’s The wild, wild, west and anything goes.’ But give us a list of the rules that you’re enforcing, and give us a list of the rules that you’re going to ignore.” Many small market managers are getting fed up with the stacking of teams, but some understand it is simply business. In reality, Lebron did no tampering whatsoever, it is not against the rules of the NBA to publicly speak of the possibility of playing with other stars or on other teams in the future. However, the NBA takes tampering very serious to “any player who, directly or indirectly, entices, induces or persuade any player, coach, trainer, general manager, or any other person who is under contract to any member of the Association to enter negotiations for or relating to his services.”
Other small market teams feel it is a publicity move which puts pressure on the Pelicans to make a move and send AD to the Lakers. Some also feel that because Davis’ agent is a business partner of Lebron James at Klutch Sports that LBJ has a lot to do with the AD to L.A. move. Davis can’t become an FA till the end of the 2019-20 season, but it is known that AD wants out of New Orleans and wants to chase a ring like the other superstars of the league. Lakers will continue to try and work out a trade before the deadline ends and land a superstar big man to aid Lebron in LA.