Anthony Davis says he never gave Pelicans list of preferred trade destinations

Anthony Davis
Feb 4, 2019; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis walks off the court following a 109-107 loss against the Indiana Pacers at the Smoothie King Center. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

The Anthony Davis drama this season unfolded like no other. Between the timing, the agent connection and the bad blood in very public negotiations, the NBA hasn’t quite seen a circus like what unfolded in New Orleans.

With the trade deadline passed, Davis will have to spend the next few months with the Pelicans at least until the end of the season when it is expected that the franchise, which just fired general manager Dell Demps, will honor his trade request.

In the two weeks in which these events unfolded, only one team seemed to be aggressive in trading for Davis and that was the Los Angeles Lakers. The purple and gold were seemingly one of, if not the preferred destination for Davis whose agent, Rich Paul, also represents LeBron James.

At one point, it was reported that Davis had asked the Pelicans to trade him to the Lakers, Knicks, Clippers or Bucks and that any other team acquiring him would certainly only have him until 2020 when he becomes a free agent. The Celtics, long rumored to be the favorites to acquire Davis, were specifically reported as a franchise that Davis would not stay with past his contract.

Now, Davis is denying there ever even was a list and that the Celtics would not have him as any more of a rental than any other team:

“All 29 other teams are on my list,” Davis said in an NBA TV interview at All-Star Weekend. “I don’t have a preferred destination. Like I said, I just want to win.

“I never gave a destination,” he added.

So what can we take from this?

Did Davis say the Celtics were on his list and then get advised by Rich Paul to say everyone is on the list so as to not give Boston an advantage?

If Davis truly never had a list, did the report come from his representation trying to force him to LA with James? Did it come from the Lakers to make themselves the only reasonable bidder? Did it come from the Pelicans to try to get more teams to make offers? If it’s either of the first two cases, would that sour Davis on going to the Lakers in the first place?

The Lakers through certain reports and Magic Johnson’s public comments have shown that they were not pleased with how negotiations with the Pelicans went down. Could that mean that they are no longer likely to trade for the star forward and Anthony Davis is now doing PR cleanup to get himself out of New Orleans at all costs?

This is all a very complicated and very messy situation for everyone involved.

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