Initially reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, New Orleans Pelicans superstar Anthony Davis will not sign a contract extension with the team this offseason and is requesting a trade. Davis’ agent, Rich Paul, broke this news early Monday morning.
Eligible for the “supermax” extension (5 years, $240 million) with the Pelicans once the season concludes, rumors surrounding Davis and his future with the team have intensified throughout the course of the 2018-19 campaign. Adding fuel to the fire, numerous reports have tabbed the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics as two teams interested in the soon-to-be six-time All-Star.
Paul also added Davis “wants to be traded to a team that allows him a chance to win consistently and compete for a championship.” He elaborated, “Anthony wanted to be honest and clear with his intentions and that’s the reason for informing them of this decision now. That’s in the best interests of both Anthony’s and the organization’s future.”
Currently averaging career-highs in points (29.3), rebounds (13.3) and assists (4.4), Davis has more than solidified his status as an elite player in the NBA. Any team that attempts to acquire his services will have to give up a king’s ransom in return. It’s worth noting that the Pelicans have not shown any signs of wanting to trade their franchise player.
With 10 days to go until the trade deadline, it appears the Lakers are leading the pack in regards to a potential Davis trade. Boston has tons of capital to work with, but cannot acquire Davis right now because of the Rose Rule. Unless Kyrie Irving is included in the trade (he won’t be), the Celtics will have to wait until July to make an offer.
Because Davis is not due to become a free agent until the summer of 2020, New Orleans has plenty of time to let this situation play out and is not under immediate pressure to make a move. With that said, recent cases of disgruntled players requesting trades (Jimmy Butler, Kawhi Leonard, Paul George) could provide a framework for the issue at hand. A resolution could be coming sooner rather than later.
Stay tuned for updates as/if needed.