Over the past few years, the question revolving around an Anthony Davis trade has gravitated from if to when.
It’s become more and more clear over the past few weeks that the big man is growing restless in his situation with the Pelicans –– climaxing on a Jan. 2 games against the Brooklyn Nets, that ended in a 126-121 loss for New Orleans.
Davis was far from the problem, as he erupted for 34 points and 26 rebounds in the losing effort. But it was AD’s comments after the game, or lack thereof, become a little alarming.
When asked about his future with the team, and how long it’ll take before he starts questioning whether or not he wants to play for a winner, Davis avoided it. He simply said, “I don’t… next question.” And he repeated the next question a few times before reporters moved on from that topic.
What should be striking to most is how Chauncey Billups responded to Anthony Davis on ESPN’s “The Jump,” where he said that Davis compares a lot to a situation that engulfed the NBA community in the mid-2000s.
He compared Davis to his friend, Kevin Garnett. Billups said that Garnett legitimately did not want to leave the Timberwolves until Chauncey and Ty Lue talked him “off the cliff.” Davis might be in a similar mindset that Garnett was in before reality set in that maybe the team just won’t be a Finals contender until potentially after you retire.
AD turns 26 years old in March and is averaging career-highs in points (28.7) and rebounds (13.4) –– yet his team is 14th in the Western Conference, and 9.5 back from first place. Davis is continuing to trend upward, but his team simply isn’t responding to his efforts.
Much like Kevin Garnett in his final year with the Minnesota Timberwolves. While Garnett was in his age-30 season when he wrapped things up in Minnesota, he still averaged 22.4 points and a league-leading 12.8 rebounds. How did his team fair, though? 13th in the Western Conference, going 32-50; and 14th the year before, where he averaged 21.8 and 12.7.
While Davis is a much more efficient three-point shooter, and takes over three per game, compared to Garnett’s career-high of 0.9 3PA, you can definitely see parallels in the two of them. For starters, they both log a high number of minutes per night –– Davis at a league-leading 37.3 per game, Garnett at 39.4 his final year with the T’Wolves. But outside of that, they’re both virtually automatic from mid-range, and they rebound and defend multiple positions at six-foot-ten and above.
Davis is an MVP candidate on a contending team, and his team is doing him a disservice by not putting a competitive team around him. It’s evident Davis wants to build his own legacy, as he has said many times –– but what good does his legacy do for him without a title?
Top-five players in the NBA shouldn’t be on teams looking to win the draft lottery, only to peak as the sixth-best team in their conference. It’s best for both parties to part ways, and that will likely come to fruition during the summer when the Celtics –– the team with the most assets –– can join the party.
Anthony Davis, both in style of play and mindset in the current environment, draws a lot of comparisons to Kevin Garnett; and he will soon realize how much better his legacy would be if he can find himself on a Finals contender.