As today is another day that ends in “-y,” it is time to talk about Anthony Davis and when/if he might be traded to the Los Angeles Lakers. Zach Lowe of ESPN wrote a great piece on how everyone involved arrived at this current situation, and in it, had a detail that should catch all Lakers fans’ eyes.
Lowe sums up how Davis might currently be feeling about his next move given the state of the franchise he’s carried for five years now:
Whatever is happening between Davis and the Pelicans is only a little about market size. Davis has not yet told those close to him that he is dead set on the Lakers or any other specific team should he decide to leave, according to a source familiar with his thinking. He does not appear ready to demand a trade. All of that could, of course, change at any moment.
This stance follows pretty consistently what Davis has been saying to this point of the season. Davis said heading into New Orleans’ loss in Staples Center that his focus was on turning this season around. Including that loss, they Pelicans have now dropped five in a row and 13 of their last 18 games.
As Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report pointed out in his most recent article on Davis and the Lakers, not until July 1 of next year can the Pelicans offer a super-max contract worth $239 million. You know, the extension that you’ve heard about relentlessly unless you’ve spent the last month or so under a rock.
This raises an interesting situation and examination of leverage. On one hand, New Orleans would be remiss to take any offers on Davis until he officially rejects their offer nearing a quarter of a billion dollars.
On the other hand, once Davis does reject that offer, his trade value could conceivably plummet, especially if he specifically leaks that he would never re-sign anywhere other than in Los Angeles on the Lakers alongside LeBron James.
But even with that said, the team most capable of outbidding the Lakers (the Boston Celtics), can’t make their offer until after this season because of Kyrie Irving’s contract (unless they want to include Irving, though that seems altogether unrealistic a scenario).
New Orleans would want to wait until they can garner a counter-offer to force up the price from the Lakers, or just get the best offer possible regardless of who it comes from.
While this season has gone about as well as the Lakers could have hoped from a winning standpoint, it might behoove them to make a godfather offer now, before the likes of Boston or any other team can seriously get involved. But it almost certainly serves New Orleans to stir up a bidding war for the best player in that franchise’s history, making any offer from the Lakers potentially a moot point altogether.
Is your head swimming yet? Because mine certainly is.
What I’m saying is: Good lord people is this really how we want to end 2018 and head into the new year? That’s a stupid question. Of course that’s how we want to do that. Transactions have replaced the action as the centerpiece of our attention, and that isn’t changing anytime soon.