If you ask, Alvin Gentry will tell you that the New Orleans Pelicans have zero intention of trading their franchise player Anthony Davis. He has not publicly asked to be traded, but he can become a free agent in 2020, and as has been custom when any superstar nears free agency in recent years while playing for a struggling team, rumors start swirling that the Lakers intend to pursue him.
Lakers GM Magic Johnson (perhaps having learned after already twice being fined for player tampering) has stayed quiet. However, in a move that still has many small market GM’s calling for tampering charges, LeBron James commented how cool it would be for Davis to join him when asked about the rumors.
More than likely no fines will come of those comments, but the Pelicans have to be getting nervous. Davis reportedly isn’t interested in the bad PR that comes with demanding a trade, but as Spurs fans can attest, remaining silent and letting the media (or an uncle) do the talking for you doesn’t make you completely criticism-prone no matter how sterling your current reputation is.
Down the road, if the Pelicans do eventually reach a point of no return with Davis, they should take a page out of how the Spurs handled the Kawhi Leonard trade, according to ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith. They did not comply with the Lakers, who stubbornly refused to include their best assets for one of the top 5 players in the league, but the Spurs also had zero interest in helping out a direct conference rival.
They also didn’t comply with their superstar’s wishes because they had to do what was best for them. Instead, they shipped him East for an All-Star and other helpful pieces in return, and it’s what the Pelicans should consider doing as well.
You can see what all Stephen A. has to say about the situation below and bask in the moment of not only agreeing with one of the more notorious talking heads in sports, but also celebrate the fact that someone is giving the Spurs credit for how they handled the Kawhi situation and be grateful that another team has taken on this season’s “trade controversy” conversations.
It’s practically a Christmas miracle!