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Anthony Davis Wants Out of New Orleans, and the Lakers May Be His Destination – The New Orleans Pelicans star center Anthony Davis has requested a trade, his agent said Monday.
Rich Paul, who represents Davis, confirmed via text message on Monday that he had personally notified the New Orleans General Manager Dell Demps that Davis wants to be moved and will not sign an estimated $240 million contract extension that New Orleans planned to offer in July at the first allowable moment.
Asked if the Pelicans were prepared to honor Davis’s request before the Feb. 7 trade deadline, Paul said Monday: “They haven’t said much, but we wanted to do the right thing to let them know by the deadline so they could do what’s best for the organization going forward.”
Paul also said that he had not furnished New Orleans with a preferred trade destination for his client. But Davis would clearly have a huge say in where he lands by virtue of his ability to become a free agent in July 2020, since any team would be unlikely to surrender meaningful trade assets for a player it could not be certain of re-signing.
Davis’s intentions were first reported by ESPN.
By making the demand now, Davis, the All-Star big man, has established the Los Angeles Lakers as the overwhelming favorite to acquire him — but only if the Pelicans are willing to deal him before the league’s Feb. 7 trade deadline. The Boston Celtics, widely regarded for some time as the Lakers’ foremost challenger in the long-anticipated trade sweepstakes for Davis, are ineligible to acquire Davis via trade while the All-Star guard Kyrie Irving is on Boston’s roster, because both Davis and Irving are both on designated rookie scale contract extensions.
Paul also represents the Lakers’ LeBron James and became Davis’s agent in September before James’s first season in L.A. began. The Pelicans did not immediately respond to a request for comment. But New Orleans Coach Alvin Gentry has said repeatedly this season that the team would not trade Davis.
With a record of 22-28 in a season marred by numerous injuries, New Orleans had slipped to 13th in the Western Conference entering Monday’s play and looked increasingly unlikely to make a playoff run. But the Pelicans are under no obligation to trade Davis now and could decide to wait until after the season, when the Celtics would very likely be able to join the bidding. Irving has the ability to become a free agent on July 1 by declining the $21.3 million player option he holds for next season to pursue a new contract.
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