Pelicans’ vice president David Griffin expresses optimism that Anthony Davis will stay

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 New Orleans Pelicans hired former Cavaliers executive David Griffin as their new vice president of basketball operations this week. At his introductory press conference, Griffin expressed his optimism that he could fix the relationship between the organization and disgruntled star Anthony Davis:

Griffin has a long history with Davis’ agent, Rich Paul, who also represents LeBron James. Paul is widely viewed as the architect behind Davis’ request to be traded, with the motive of getting him to the Los Angeles Lakers to team up with James.

The Lakers were unable to secure Davis at the 2019 trade deadline as negotiations became public leading to an embarrassing failure that may have ultimately led to the team’s end-of-season drop-off and missing the postseason.

The Pelicans were expected to trade Davis in the offseason when the Boston Celtics can get involved as Kyrie Irving’s contract will expire. They could previously not acquire Davis because the CBA forbids teams from having two players on designated player extensions on the same roster.

Griffin’s relationship with Klutch and James could theoretically make him more willing to trade with the Lakers than former Pelicans’ chief Dell Demps was, although ownership could outweigh his decision. His comments at his press conference could just be a way of driving up the price for Davis by making the Pelicans seem like a viable option for the big man.

That said, Griffin could also just be telling the truth. He tried to convince Kyrie Irving to stay in Cleveland but his contract expired before the trade that sent him to Boston. It’s not difficult to envision him trying to keep one of the very best players in the NBA on the team he works for before succumbing to trade demands. If Davis’ trade demand was truly about winning and putting a good product next to him, perhaps Griffin, the architect of an NBA champion, could convince him to stay.

Leave a Reply