Before being officially traded to the Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday, Anthony Davis had to decide whether or not he was going to waive his $4 million trade kicker. While most people wouldn’t think twice about taking the $4 million, Davis elected to pass on the extra cash, allowing the Lakers to increase their spending power in free agency to $32 million.
Naturally, people questioned Davis’ decision to walk away from $4 million because, well, it’s $4 million, but Davis’ agent, Rich Paul of Klutch Sports, told Sirius XM’s NBA Radio that it wasn’t a hard decision for Davis to make because he just wanted to help the Lakers construct a championship-contending roster (h/t The Big Lead):
“Anthony wanted to do what’s best for the team. They had to create cap space knowing that [when] they went out to get him that the depth chart would be pretty scarce. Here we are again as athletes. You can’t have it both ways. The media says well you know what? If you want all your money you’re greedy.”
“Or when you want more money than they think you’re worth, they say you’re greedy,” he continued. “When you want to take less, like in this case he wanted to do what was best for the team because he’s only been in the playoffs two years.”
Had Davis opted to accept his $4 million trade bonus, some of that money would have went to Paul, but Paul said that his job is to do what’s best for Davis at the end of the day:
When asked by Elhassan how he handles this type of request as an agent who has his own family to feed, Paul answered, “I asked what’s important to him. If it’s important for you to keep your money in your pocket that’s what we’ll do. But if it’s important for you to win, the more money you have available to go out and take talent then that’s what you do.” Paul added that this decision was not contingent on landing Kawhi Leonard.
Who could have guessed that Paul worked in Davis’ best interests and not the other way around? What a concept.
In all seriousness, Davis declining his $4 million trade bonus was a big help for the Lakers, who were able to sign Davis’ good friend DeMarcus Cousins with using cap space as a result. While it would have been nice to see that $32 million spent on Kawhi Leonard instead, it’s hard to argue that the front office didn’t make the most of it, all things considered.
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