The New Orleans Pelicans did not trade All-Star Anthony Davis to the LA Lakers or anyone else before Thursday afternoon’s trade deadline.
The biggest story of the NBA season ended up becoming a non-story. Davis, the former #1 pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, will not be traded by the Pelicans.
Davis missed a couple of weeks of action with a fractured figure, but he had been cleared to play by team doctors last week. The Pelicans held Davis out of the lineup until the trade deadline.
The Pelicans will wait until July 1 when the Boston Celtics can officially negotiate a trade with the Pelicans. Due to the “Rose Rule”, the Celtics were unable to discuss a trade with the Pelicans while Kyrie Irving was under contract. Irving will be a free agent at the end of the season. Boston would like to re-sign Irving and trade for Anthony Davis.
WHO IS ANTHONY DAVIS?
Hometown: Chicago, IL
Nicknames: AD, Unibrow
Position: Power Forward/Center
Draft: #1 overall pick in 2012 by New Orleans
Team: New Orleans Pelicans
Career Stats: 24.0 points, 10.6 rebounds, 2.4 blocks
Boston Celtics general manager Danny Ainge has been tipping his hand the last couple of seasons. It’s been no surprise to anyone in New England that the Celtics have been waiting to make a move for Davis.
Davis’ agent, Rich Paul from Klutch Sports, leaked that he wanted New Orleans to trade Davis. He hoped that he could facilitate a trade before the deadline to a team that was not the Celtics. The Lakers and Knicks were two teams that took the bait. Paul also represents LeBron James.
Supposedly the Pelicans had zero interest in trading Davis to the Lakers. The organization wanted payback after LeBron James’ remarks that he’d like Davis to play alongside him in the future. The Pelicans took offense to LeBron’s tampering. The team supposedly leaked the Lakers offer, which included pretty much everyone on their roster not named LeBron James. After a week of nonstop drama, the Lakers essentially game up in a game against the Indiana Pacers. The team gave up on LeBron and head coach Luke Walton. LeBron suffered a 42-point loss, the worst in his 16-year career.
The Pelicans sabotaged the Lakers, but revealed that Magic Johnson was willing to give up a significant amount of talent right now to acquire Davis including departing with Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, and Brandon Ingram. Furthermore, it appears that the Pelicans want draft picks. The Celtics are sitting on a coveted stockpile of picks that are more enticing to the Pelicans.
LeBron currently finds himself without a sidekick. He wanted AD and AD wanted to play with the Lakers. But the Pelicans did not want to deal with the Lakers and they blew off Magic Johnson.
Bucks, Knicks, and Clippers
Rich Paul, Davis’ agent, mentioned that AD would happily sign an extension with specific teams if the Pelicans traded him. That list included the Milwaukee Bucks, New York Knicks, and LA Clippers.
The Knicks gave the Pelicans a call and offered Kristaps Porzingis, but they were not interested in swapping the Unibrow for the Unicorn. Instead, the Knicks shipped off Porzingis to the Dallas Mavericks for Dennis Smith, Jr.
The Bucks were an interesting team thrown into the mix. The Bucks are hip right now. The Greek Freak is the new kid in town and he’s been getting everyone in Wisconsin excited about pro hoops. The Bucks have a new arena and a core that includes Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton, and Thon Maker. AD tossed into the mix would tip the scales of the East to Milwaukee.
The LA Clippers recently cleaned house. They traded Tobias Harris to the Philadelphia Sixers and now have enough room for two free agents with max-contracts. The first spot will be offered to Kawhi Leonard. Doc Rivers would love to see AD take that second spot.
Future: AD in Beantown?
The AD circus is postponed until this summer when the AD sweepstakes will heat up once again. Jayson Tatum is mentioned in almost every trade rumor article. The Celtics have a a decent selection of other players to toss into the deal, but the Pelicans are drooling over the Celtics first-round draft picks.
Even if the Celtics pull off a trade, general manager Danny Ainge will only be renting AD’s services for a season. Unless he can convince him to stick with the Celtics, AD will bolt for SoCal to play with LeBron. If that’s the case, then Magic Johnson gets the last laugh over his former foe, Ainge, while Magic picks up AD without having to trade away the farm.
According to the South Point Casino and Sports Book in Las Vegas, the New Orleans Pelicans are 500/1 odds to win the NBA championship. The Boston Celtics are 8/1 odds to win the NBA title.