The Anthony Davis trade saga is getting a little ugly with the trade deadline approaching.
Lakers seem to be in the driver’s seat to acquire AD, if the trade goes through before the Feb 7 deadline, but from the looks of it, the Pelicans have no interest in letting their star man go.
Lakers have put out their best offer on the table, but the Pelicans have made it clear that they need 4 first round picks in the deal.
Now, from a distance, Lakers’ offer seems to be good enough, but the Pelicans somehow refuse to budge.
The New Orleans Pelicans still haven’t responded on the Los Angeles Lakers’ most recent trade proposal for Anthony Davis, league sources tell ESPN. Pelicans have yet to engage L.A. on trade talks. Deadline is nearly 24 hours away.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 6, 2019
The Pelicans will be fools if they turn down what the Lakers are offering. They will not do better next summer trying to auction off Anthony Davis as a one-year rental.
— Skip Bayless (@RealSkipBayless) February 7, 2019
The Pelicans GM is now not accepting any calls from Magic Johnson and the talks have stalled.
Reports state that talks have begun with the Celtics, with Tatum scheduled to be part of the trade deal, but with the number of draft picks and players on offer in the Lakers deal, the current deal seems more attractive.
However, the Pelicans haven’t shown interest, which at first seemed like a classic poker move but is now turning into a revenge act, according to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst.
When asked by Rachel Nicholls if the Pelicans were doing it on purpose to avenge for tampering, Windhorst replied with an affirmative, confirming that, “It’s not just possible, it’s what happened.”.
So I asked @WindhorstESPN if the Pels ever intended to seriously engage with LA on Anthony Davis, or if all the talks & leaks were instead designed to sabotage the young Lakers as revenge for what N.O. sees as tampering, & he said “it’s not just possible, it’s what happened.” 👀 pic.twitter.com/wki2hDPaEs
— Rachel Nichols (@Rachel__Nichols) February 7, 2019
So on the Anthony Davis situation, if what we’re hearing is true, Pelicans did not negotiate in good faith, possibly with the goal of putting Kuzma, Ball, Ingram etc in trade rumors that would sabotage LA’s chemistry this season as revenge for AD’s trade request. This league, man
— Trevor Lane (@Trevor_Lane) February 7, 2019
Anthony Davis to file grievance if Pelicans hold him out past NBA trade deadline https://t.co/1ftfjyV6r8
— Lonzo Wire (@LonzoWire) February 7, 2019
Now, Anthony Davis has regained fitness during the last few days, but the Pelicans have still not allowed him to feature on the court.
Anthony Davis wanted to get back to action after recovering from his finger injury but the Pelicans have decided to keep him out until the trade deadline of Thursday 3 pm E.T., according to Chris Haynes.
Pelicans could end up holding out Davis even after the trade deadline, forcing him to be on the bench and protecting him from any injuries until the end of the season, so that they can get the maximum out of any deal with their superstar.
According to Bryan Kalbrosky of HoopsHype, AD would file a grievance, if he’s held out past the trade deadline.
“It’s possible they’re going to hold [Davis] out until the conclusion of the trade deadline and even possibly after that if he remains a Pelican. There’s a chance during the second half of the season, I was told, that they would probably look to shut him down to a certain extent” Kalbrosky reported
“If it does get to that point where he’s still a Pelican after the deadline and the organization decides to make that move on sitting him down, that’s where I think we’re in uncharted territory. And I know for a fact [he] will probably file a grievance.” he added.
Now, there is some logic to Pelicans wanting to keep Davis on the bench, but that would only make matters worse for the player and the organisation, as things could get very toxic in the locker room.
But if Davis doesn’t get traded by the deadline, he could see himself on the bench a lot more than before, as Pelicans wouldn’t want to risk an injury and get lesser offers in the summer.