It’s never too early to make snap judgments about random events and what they mean in the NBA landscape. Over the weekend, Brian Windhorst and Ramona Shelburne of ESPN reported that New Orleans Pelicans star Anthony Davis has parted ways with his agent Thad Foucher.
Perhaps more importantly, at least in the views of the Los Angeles Lakers, ESPN reports that Rich Paul of Klutch Sports is the “leading contender” to represent the big man. Paul, you may remember, is best known for representing Lakers star LeBron James (as well as Kentavious Caldwell-Pope).
Of course, with this news, there will be plenty of speculation about Davis’ future in New Orleans and how the Lakers could play a role. The Kentucky product has two years remaining on his contract so free agency is still a ways away, but with James under contract for at least three seasons, it’s easy to see how that connection can be made. It’s an especially interesting case given how the Lakers connection to Paul via Caldwell-Pope could have played a part in James’ decision to come to LA.
Nevertheless, this is still quite a big pipe dream. The Lakers are hoping to sign a star free agent next summer (after clearing the space by buying out Luol Deng’s contract) so if they have cap space to sign Davis in 2020, that means something went wrong. Even by declining options and waiving every player not named LeBron James and mystery star player number two, the team would not have the requisite money to go after Davis.
That said, a trade is still possible if a third team with big enough salaries on the books gets involved. If Davis forces his way out of New Orleans, it’s not out of the realm of possibilities for the Lakers to finally splurge in a deal to create a big three they know can contend for a very long time.
The moral of this story is that summer of 2020 is a very long time away and any number of things can change the trajectory of this story. But the fact that there is a story is itself a noteworthy development