NBA Rumors: There Are 'Worries' Anthony Davis Rejects Long-Term Contracts

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistDecember 20, 2018

New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis (23) in the fourth quarter of an NBA basketball game, Friday, Nov. 23, 2018, in New York. (AP Photo/Howard Simmons)
Howard Simmons/Associated Press

There are reportedly "worries" around the NBA that New Orleans Pelicans center Anthony Davis will be unwilling to sign long-term contracts in the coming years.

According to ESPN.com's Zach Lowe, there is some belief that Davis may take the same approach as LeBron James in terms of signing one- and two-year contracts until he is ready to commit long term.

Davis has one year remaining on his contract with the Pelicans beyond this season and a player option for 2020-21, which has resulted in a ton of trade buzz surrounding the five-time All-Star.

On Tuesday, James said it would be "amazing" and "incredible" if Davis were to join him as a member of the Los Angeles Lakers at some point, per ESPN.com's Dave McMenamin.

Davis acknowledged the comments Wednesday, but he insisted that he's more focused on helping the Pelicans improve: "I don't really care. Obviously, it's cool to hear any high-caliber player say they want to play with me. But my job is to turn this team around. If we're 15-17, that means I'm not doing my job."

New Orleans can offer Davis a supermax contract in July worth $239 million over five years, and that figures to determine whether he has a long-term future with the Pelicans.

If Davis turns down the supermax, he will likely become a trade candidate that much of the NBA will be longing after.

Lowe specifically mentioned the Lakers and Boston Celtics as teams that could be in pursuit.

Both teams have several promising, young players. The Celtics have a ton of draft capital, which makes them the likely favorites to land Davis if New Orleans opts to trade him.

Given Lowe's report, however, there would be some significant risk in trading for Davis if he doesn't want to sign for more than two years at a time. That risk may be worth it, though, since Davis is playing MVP-caliber basketball with averages of 28.0 points, 12.3 rebounds, 4.7 assists, 2.8 blocks and 1.8 steals per game.

The Golden State Warriors signed Kevin Durant without any type of long-term commitment, and while he may leave during the offseason, the Dubs have won two championships with him and are eyeing a third this season.

Davis' success has been somewhat limited in the NBA in terms of wins and losses, but if he lands in the right situation, he is the type of player who can help a team win a title—that may outweigh the risk of losing him shortly thereafter. 

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