Latest posts by Sam Amico (see all)
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New Orleans Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry couldn’t be more direct about the team’s plans for All-Star big man Anthony Davis.
“We’re not trading him,” Gentry told reporters. “I can say that to the world. We’re not gonna trade him, no matter what. That’s not an option. It doesn’t matter what anybody says or does. We’re not trading Anthony Davis.”
Davis has been the constant subject of trade rumors since LeBron James arrived in Los Angeles to play for the Lakers.
Some of the talk has been fan-generated. Some has been media media-generated. And some has been generated by James himself.
“That would be amazing, like, duh,” James told ESPN of the prospect of trading for Davis. “That would be incredible.”
Davis responded to those comments by saying he was flattered — but that his focus was on nowhere but the season.
“I don’t really care,” Davis told ESPN’s Zach Lowe of James’ comments Wednesday after the visiting Pelicans lost to the Milwaukee Bucks.
“Obviously, it’s cool to hear any high-caliber player say they want to play with me. But my job is to turn this team around. If we’re 15-17, that means I’m not doing my job.”
Interestingly, some around the NBA suspect that the question about Davis was manufactured — by James himself, with the goal being to put a bug in the Lakers’ ear and get the ball rolling on the franchise finding a second star.
But Davis has reportedly told the Pelicans he has no desire to go anywhere and the Pelicans have said they will not be trading him. Instead, they are actually searching for help for Davis.
Davis does is not eligible for free agency until 2020. So unless he suddenly and uncharacteristically demands a trade, the Pelicans can hang onto him for all of this season and next.
“This summer, he will be eligible for a special five-year, $239 million supermax extension that the Pelicans can offer a year in advance of his unrestricted free agency,” Lowe noted. “The NBA and its players’ union introduced the supermax in the most recent collective bargaining talks in part to help small-market teams retain superstars.”