The trade deadline is just a day away, and Anthony Davis and his Pelicans have wrapped themselves up in almost all of the trade storylines after the star and his agent Rich Paul of Klutch Sports, who also represents LeBron James, informed the New Orleans Pelicans that Davis doesn’t plan to re-sign with the team and wants a trade. Davis has been fined $50,000 by the league office for his public trade request.
Davis is enjoying another incredible year despite missing significant time with an injury- putting up All-NBA numbers that have his fantasy owners dancing night in and night out. He’s really putting his team in a tough spot. They have to decide whether or not to keep an unhappy generational talent, or risk losing him in the offseason of 2020 for absolutely nothing.
As of Feb. 3, the Lakers offered the Pelicans Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, Brandon Ingram, Rajon Rondo, Lance Stephenson, Michael Beasley, and two first round picks. Holy cow, the Lakers are absolutely selling out to land The Brow. This is about as good of a deal as the Lakers can present the Pelicans, and considering the Pelicans haven’t accepted it doesn’t bode well for Magic Johnson and the Lake show.
It’s no secret that the Lakers need another big-time star to compliment LeBron and dethrone the Golden State Warriors. Their crop of young talent Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, and Josh Hart just aren’t cutting it. Combine an underperforming young core with a meme-team of Lance Stephenson, JaVale McGee, and Rajon Rondo, and you’ve got a franchise in serious need of another real star.
LeBron knows AD would be his perfect sidekick.. He could not have made it more public as the two literally had dinner together about a month ago in LA. What does that smell like? Collusion!
But LeBron’s connection to Davis goes a lot further than just wanting to play with him. James is long-time friends with Rich Paul, and has been investigated by the league for allegedly having a stake in Klutch Sports. This is tampering 101 from LeBron James, and I’m surprised he hasn’t been fined yet. This feels like a trade that has potential to be vetoed by the league.
It doesn’t happen often. The last time the league struck down a deal was when David Stern vetoed Chris Paul to the Lakers in 2011. The league has shown they’re unhappy with Davis’ and James’ actions, so it really would not surprise me if a trade between the Pelicans and Lakers got shot down by Adam Stern.
But it’s not just the league’s front office that AD and LeBron are dealing with. Reports have come out implying that tensions between the Pelicans and Lakers’ GMs are growing, and that we might not see a deal go down before the Feb. 7 deadline. Both the Lakers and Pelicans seem to have withdrawn from trade talks at least a few times because of the Pelicans’ substantial demands, such as including four first round picks in the deal. This deal has a good chance of never going down.
Further complicating the timeline is Davis’ injury. He’s been out for several weeks with a fractured finger, and reports have said that he might be shut down for the season in order to preserve his health and trade value. Shutting AD down would be awful for the Pels and the league, and would set a damaging precedent for superstars in mid-market teams. We can’t just have stars stop playing because they don’t want to play for a certain team. If he’s allowed to sit, I see more fines on the way.
Clearly, the story isn’t over. I think the full involvement of LeBron James is not fully known by the public. There is some shady stuff going on, so right now I am staying as woke as can be.
- Jackson Parker