The NBA trade deadline just got a whole lot more interesting.
The worst kept secret in basketball the last few years has been that New Orleans has been on the clock to get Anthony Davis more help and competitive team or else risk losing him. Looks like the clock has expired (according to Woj).
Agent Rich Paul has notified the New Orleans Pelicans that All-NBA forward Anthony Davis has no intention of signing a contract extension if and when presented and that he has requested a trade, Paul told ESPN on Monday.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 28, 2019
Rich Paul to ESPN on a preferred destination for Anthony Davis: "Anthony wants to be traded to a team that allows him the chance to win consistently and compete for a championship."— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 28, 2019
Remember that the Celtics cannot trade for Anthony Davis before this offseason without including Kyrie Irving in the deal (read more about that here). The Celtics probably would have preferred this trade demand to happen over the summer.
This trade demand lowers the Pelicans’ leverage quite a bit. They could still wait till the offseason to get the Celtics and other teams in the bidding. In fact, that might be their best way of maintaining any type of bargaining power. At a minimum, they would be better off waiting to see how the NBA Draft Lottery plays out to see what kinds of picks are on the table.
However, if they are eager to move him soon, the Lakers would seem to have an early lead on landing Davis. Remember that Anthony Davis joined Klutch Sports Group led by Rich Paul who happens to be LeBron James’ agent.
Another team could roll the dice and trade for Davis, taking a chance that they’ll convince him to re-sign when he becomes a free agent (similar to the way the Raptors took a chance on Kawhi Leonard).
The Celtics will have to hope that Davis is not traded before the deadline. Or if he is dealt, that he gets traded to a team that ends up having no ability to hang onto him long term.
One additional scenario to consider is trading Kyrie Irving to acquire Davis. Irving is a free agent at the end of the season and Ainge has never been shy or sentimental when it comes to big trade opportunities.
We’ll have updates as they develop.