LeBron James is the only player from the Los Angeles Lakers that will be playing in the NBA All-Star Game on Sunday, but there’s a chance that at least one of the guys he’ll take the floor with will be a future teammate of his, the most notable candidate being Anthony Davis.
Davis requested a trade from the New Orleans Pelicans with just over a week before the NBA trade deadline and he and his agent, Rich Paul of Klutch Sports, gave the Pelicans a list of teams he would re-sign with. Those teams were initially believed to be the Milwaukee Bucks, New York Knicks, Clippers and Lakers, as first reported by Shams Charania of The Athletic.
The most notable omission from that list is the Boston Celtics, who many feel can put together the best offer for Davis this summer. However, the early reports that came out following his trade request were that he would prefer not to play for the Celtics.
The trade deadline came and went and now Davis has changed his tune with Boston — well, sort of.
During his media availability in Charlotte on Saturday, Davis denied leaving the Celtics off of his list of preferred destinations:
Anthony Davis is asked about the Boston Celtics not being on his list. “They are on my list.”— Tim Bontemps (@TimBontemps) February 16, 2019
Anthony Davis - “I’ve never said Boston is not on my list.”— Dan Woike (@DanWoikeSports) February 16, 2019
Before Lakers fans freak out too much about his comments, Davis elaborated on his statement and said there aren’t any teams he won’t play for — outside of New Orleans:
Pump the breaks, everyone (especially those in Boston)— Def Pen Hoops (@DefPenHoops) February 16, 2019
Anthony Davis says all other 29 teams are on his list and he doesn't have a preferred destination
He just wants to win pic.twitter.com/Ech6uDTRI0
After Anthony Davis did not rule Boston out as being on his list of preferred destinations during All-Star media availability Saturday, he went on NBA TV and said that his list includes “all 29 teams” other than New Orleans— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) February 16, 2019
So why was it being reported that Davis was avoiding the Celtics at all costs before the trade deadline? There could be a few reasons.
It’s possible that Davis and Paul didn’t include the Celtics on their list of preferred destinations because they knew Boston couldn’t make an offer for him before the deadline. However, that would assume that Davis is in a hurry to get of New Orleans, which reportedly isn’t the case.
It’s more likely that Davis and his camp still prefer not to be traded to Boston, but they’re doing everything they can from a public relations standpoint to not create any more noise around the situation than there already is. What’s the best way to make it seem like you and your agent aren’t forcing your way to a specific team? By saying you’ll play for any team.
Davis will make comments like these for the rest of the season, and probably next season before he hits free agency, so my advice to Lakers fans is to take a deep breath and try and enjoy the collection of players that are still on the roster for now, and skip the hyper-analysis of every quote from Davis.