On Jan. 28, 2019, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported that Anthony Davis had requested a trade from the New Orleans Pelicans, which marked the beginning of a five-month trade saga that ended with Davis being traded to the Los Angeles Lakers. However, it appears that Davis wanted to leave New Orleans long before then.
During a recent appearance on the “All The Smoke” podcast, Paul George revealed that he had talked to Anthony Davis about teaming up in Indiana, where George played from 2010 to 2017. Davis confirmed George’s comments after the Lakers’ practice on Sunday, but he said he’s happy with the way things have played out for him since then.
“The Paul thing in Indiana, it was a conversation, for sure, but it kind of just faded away,” Davis said. “I’m not sure what happened on their end. He said that management didn’t want to do it, or whatever, but it was a conversation.
“And then, LeBron said he wanted to team up and in the year that we do, we win a championship, so I think Bron kind of spoke it into existence and it happened, and I’m glad it happened. For me, for my selfish reasons, I wanted it to happen in my first year teaming up with him.
“But who knows what would have happened with Paul in Indiana? He’s another great player. Especially when he was in Indiana. He was definitely tough to guard. He’s still tough to guard today, but I think that was so long ago and I’ve we’ve played each other so many times since then … you always think about what could have happened. Would my career be a lot different than it is now?”
Reading that as a Lakers fan has to feel better than reading that as a Pacers fan, but not by much. As much as Pacers fans surely would have loved to see George and Davis on the same team, there was nothing that Indiana could have offered New Orleans for Davis when George was still with the Pacers, especially when you consider that Davis still had three years left on his contract in 2017.
If it took the Lakers a monster package to get Davis on an expiring contract, it likely would have taken the Pacers twice as much, and they didn’t even have half of what the Lakers had to offer. In other words, Davis could have told the Pelicans he wanted to play for the Pacers directly and it likely wouldn’t have mattered — timing is everything, and the Lakers went after Davis at the perfect time.
Now, Davis is a champion, and if George wants to win a championship while he’s in Los Angeles too, he’s going to have to go through Davis, as they both just re-upped with their teams for the next five years. The plot thickens.