New Orleans Pelicans superstar Anthony Davis shocked NBA players and fans Monday, requesting a trade and informing the team he will not sign a contract extension, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
“Anthony wants to be traded to a team that allows him the chance to win consistently and compete for a championship,” Davis’ agent, Rich Paul of Klutch Sports Group, told ESPN. Adding, “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.”
By informing the Pelicans he will not re-sign, the 25-year-old five-time All-Star is all but forcing New Orleans general manager Dell Demps to deal him. According the The Athletic’s Shams Charania, Davis informed his teammates of his intentions to request a trade prior to the news:
All-Star Anthony Davis‘ agent, Rich Paul, notified the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday that Davis will not sign a contract extension and has requested a trade, Paul says. Davis also had conversations with teammates prior to his decision.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) January 28, 2019
The Pelicans have lost five of their last six games, falling to 22-28 on the season and 13th in the Western Conference, six games behind the Los Angeles Clippers in eighth.
A potential landing spot for Davis, the Los Angeles Lakers. Rumors have been swirling since December when the Lakers superstar LeBron James told ESPN’s Dave McMenamin that playing with Davis would be an “amazing” and “incredible” opportunity, this statement immediately led several small-market GM’s to file tampering complaints.
Days later LBJ and Davis were seen dining together after their game in Los Angeles.
The NBA soon reacted issuing a memo that highlighted the league’s anti-tampering rules. Possible trades options, with a trove of young talent that might make for attractive trade bait (namely Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma and Josh Hart), but every team in the NBA will be lining up to land a perennial MVP candidate in his prime.