Former Kentucky star Anthony Davis has been arguably the hottest topic in the NBA over the last few weeks, and it doesn’t look like that’s slowing down anytime soon.
Last night, New Orleans Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry announced his franchise would not be trading their superstar forward “under any circumstance.”
“No we’re not trading him,” he said, in reference to Lakers star LeBron James expressing his desire for Davis to join him in Los Angeles. “We’re not trading him under any circumstance. You can move on from that one.”
Sam Amick of The Athletic, however, released a report just a few hours later saying Davis is willing to leave nearly $90 million on the line if it means he can play for a contender.
“According to a source with knowledge of Davis’ thinking, he does not see the extra $87.3 million that New Orleans is expected to offer in a five-year, $239.5 million supermax extension this summer as a factor in his eventual decision,” Amick said.
And then things get really juicy.
The Lakers and Pelicans faced off in Los Angeles last night, and following a 112-104 victory for LeBron and the Lakers, the superstar forward reportedly took Davis out to dinner.
Chris Haynes of Yahoo! Sports reported the news, adding that the Lakers appear to be “in the driver’s seat” when it comes to landing the former Wildcat’s services.
“With the Pelicans staying overnight before traveling to Sacramento, James and Davis met up for a postgame dinner in Los Angeles, league sources told Yahoo Sports,” he said. “If Davis desires to be a member of the Lakers, it’s only a matter of time before he’s eventually sporting the purple and gold. Davis is in complete control of his destiny, and it may lead him directly to Southern California.”
To take things a step further, Davis told Haynes after the game that he values “legacy over money,” once again confirming the report that he’d be willing to decline the supermax if it means he can put the pieces together to win a title, even if that’s not in New Orleans.
“I’d take legacy over money,” Davis told Yahoo! Sports. “I want to have a legacy. All my people that look up to me, the younger kids, I want them to know about AD’s legacy. Championships, the things I do in the community, being a good teammate, playing hard. All that stuff matters the most to me. Don’t get me wrong, money is amazing. But I think in that sense, money or legacy, I think my legacy will win that battle every time.”
Haynes closed things out by making it clear to the basketball world: the Davis-to-LA rumors should be taken seriously.
“The Lakers are a legitimate threat to pry Davis from the Pelicans,” he said. “And if that’s what he wants, as many believe, there really will be no stopping him.”
It’s been fun watching Davis become a franchise cornerstone for the Pelicans, and it’s been even more fun watching him play with former Wildcats such as DeMarcus Cousins, Rajon Rondo, Julius Randle, Darius Miller, Andrew Harrison, and DeAndre Liggins over the last few years. New Orleans has certainly become a franchise the Big Blue Nation has rallied behind.
But Davis is a once-in-a-lifetime prospect, and these special seasons just aren’t amounting to major playoff runs and legitimate opportunities for championships. With dreams of building his legacy, it appears the former Kentucky star’s days in New Orleans are numbered.