Heading into what could be the latest, wildest NBA offseason yet for the Los Angeles Lakers, the one advantage the New Orleans Pelicans have over every other team as they hope to convince Anthony Davis to stick around is the $239 million contract they can offer.
Unfortunately for New Orleans, he doesn’t seem to care all that much about the difference he’d be making in New Orleans compared to other cities that might offer a better situation.
“According to a source with knowledge of Davis’ thinking, he does not see the extra $87.3 million that New Orleans is expected to offer in a five-year, $239.5 million supermax extension this summer as a factor in his eventual decision.”
Now, it’s a lot easier to say you don’t care about nearly $90 million before it’s actually on the table, but it does kind of speak to one of the issues the NBA is facing even as it’s done everything it could to ensure stars stay with the teams that drafted them: NBA superstars can make enough money off the court to make up for whatever they give up on it (or at least come close).
Amick goes on to clarify that no trade demand is coming anytime soon, but this isn’t what Pelicans fans should be wanting to hear.
“As it stands, there is no indication that the 25-year-old Davis wants to be traded. But with the Feb. 7 trade deadline nearing and LeBron sending clear signs that he wants to partner with Davis, there is a strong sense that now is the time for the Lakers to attempt to make this move.
Here’s why: While the Pelicans continue to say they won’t trade him, a strong offer might force an early conversation between Davis and team officials about his eventual intentions. It’s the absence of clarity on that front, in essence, that is buoying New Orleans’ hope that he might stay. What’s more, the Lakers have a competitive edge over Davis’ other known suitor, the Boston Celtics, that is getting smaller by the day.”
To be absolutely clear, we’re still probably months away from any kind of resolution to any of this. It behooves New Orleans to wait until at least this summer when Boston can make their offer for Davis, and Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry has said repeatedly that the organization isn’t trading Davis.
However, if they do wait and Boston’s offer doesn’t blow them away, they could regret not taking some kind of crazy proposal the Lakers drop on their plate.
Boston cannot make any offer that doesn’t feature Kyrie Irving as both he and Davis are on designated player extensions.
To be even clearer, the Lakers do not appear to have made any such proposal yet, but suffice it to say if they caught wind of any kind of interest whatsoever on New Orleans’ part, every single player on the roster not named LeBron James would be made available. Still, we aren’t there yet.
While it’s unlikely that we get any kind of real development in this story for the foreseeable future, it’s just as unlikely the headlines and speculation stop anytime soon, either. There’s just too much at stake.
For Davis, he can rid himself of an organization that’s failed to surround him with the talent to take his career to the level it should be. For New Orleans, they can’t afford to lose probably the greatest player they’ve ever had or might ever have as he’s entering his prime. The Lakers finding a way to pair Davis and James is an almost automatic annual bid to at least the Western Conference Finals.
The entire NBA is watching this. Hence executives getting up-in-arms before anything has really happened. But for the Lakers, things are shaking out well so far, and Amick’s report is exactly the kind of thing they should be hoping to hear at this point.