Franchise altering players are very seldom available through a trade and an even smaller number demand to be dealt from their current teams. However, both of those things happened Monday morning when Pelicans all-star Anthony Davis informed the team he would not be signing an extension with them and wants to be traded prior to his 2020 free agency date.
Earlier this season the Pelicans were adamant they would not trade Davis for anything, but after his request that likely changes things. The team offered this statement on the situation with their 25-year old star:
This past weekend, Anthony Davis’ representatives informed us that Anthony does not wish to sign a contract extension with our team and subsequently has requested a trade. Although we are disappointed in this decision, our organization’s top priority is to bring an NBA championship to our city and fans and build our team for long-term success.
Relative to specific talks of a trade, we will do this on our terms and our timeline. One that makes the most sense for our team and it will not be dictated by those outside of our organization. We have also requested the League to strictly enforce the tampering rules associated with this transaction.
The last part of their statement is directed so that they have no interference or tampering from other players/teams in hopes of landing the star power forward. As this pertains to the Lakers, their own star, LeBron James, was at the center of tampering speculation when he said it would be “amazing” to play with Davis in December.
The league has taken some initiative on this particular trade request and opened an investigation according to Marc Stein of the New York Times.
NBA spokesman Mike Bass on the Anthony Davis trade demand: "We commenced an investigation this morning upon reading the reports regarding Anthony Davis. That process is ongoing.”
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) January 28, 2019
The focus of this investigation could lead to the league taking action against Davis for formally requesting a trade according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
NBA spokesman: “We commenced an investigation this morning upon reading the reports regarding Anthony Davis. That process is ongoing.” One reason: an on-the-record request for a trade by an agent or a player. Davis could be fined.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 28, 2019
With the ties that Davis has to the Lakers through Klutch Sports and sharing an agent with LeBron James, the Pelicans are trying to do whatever they can to have the most leverage in this deal possible. From the looks of it, they are pulling out all the stops in order to maintain control of this situation.