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If opening night is an indication, New Orleans Pelicans star big man Anthony Davis will be more than just eyeballing the NBA MVP trophy. He wants to be holding it, too.
Davis and the Pelicans went on the road and blasted the reigning MVP James Harden and the Houston Rockets — and Davis admitted looking at the trophy as it was delivered to Harden before the game.
“When it was sitting there before the game, I glanced at it, and then I had to lock back in for the game,” Davis told reporters. “That stuff will take care of itself. As long as we keep doing what we’re doing as a team, the rest will come on its own.”
While New Orleans is considered a warm, fun place to live and the Pelicans look to be a team on the rise, they haven’t been viewed as a free-agent destination, for whatever reason.
Combine that with the fact Davis recently signed with Rich Paul, the agent for LeBron James, and the rumors have been swirling. They say that Davis will somehow end up with James and the Los Angeles Lakers.
But sources have told Amico Hoops that the Pelicans have no interest in trading Davis, and if they ever did, they wouldn’t send him to LA. Instead, they’d be considerably more interested in talking with teams such as the Boston Celtics or Philadelphia 76ers, or opposing teams that compete in the Eastern Conference.
The only way the Pelicans would trade Davis, it seems, is if they feared they might lose him for nothing. David nor Paul have indicated that is a possibility in meetings with the Pelicans.
Right now, though, the Pelicans have indicated they won’t trade Davis for anyone in the entire NBA.
“There’s no one in the league that we would trade him for and there’s no one out of the league — not even Beyonce,” Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry said recently. “If we wouldn’t trade him for her, he’s probably untouchable.”
Davis also recently laughed off the rumors, particularly the ones about him going to the Lakers.
“You hear it everywhere, it’s funny, how did that [Lakers rumors] even happen? How does that correlate?” Davis said. “You know, in my head, I don’t pay attention to it, I keep going back to it but it’s the truth, I look at what I have now and what I can do now and that’s helping my team win.”
“You can’t listen to what somebody else is saying, all the white noise, ‘AD’s going here or AD’s going here.’ AD’s playing for the Pelicans this year … the rest will take care of itself.”
Davis is under contract for each of the next two seasons. He is due to make more than $25 million this year and more than $27 million next. He has a player option of $28.7 million for the 2020-21 season, his first opportunity to become a free agent.
For now, it appears, he’ll keep trying to push the Pelicans forward and his heart on being the best he can be for them.
“Honestly, I see myself as the best player in the league, the most dominant player in the league,” Davis said in a recent interview with ESPN. “I just think it’s time for that step. You only get a short window, and I don’t want that window to close, so I think my time is now.”