Alvin Gentry Reiterates Pelicans Won't Trade Anthony Davis Ahead of Lakers Game

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorDecember 21, 2018

New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis (23) goes to the basket against Miami Heat center Hassan Whiteside (21) in the first half of an NBA basketball game in New Orleans, Sunday, Dec. 16, 2018. The Heat won 102-96. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Gerald Herbert/Associated Press

New Orleans Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry made it very clear to reporters Friday that his team has no intention to trade superstar big man Anthony Davis. 

"No, we're not trading him," Gentry said. "We're not trading him under any circumstance. You can move on from that one."

The question of Davis' future is a natural one to ponder given his contract situation and the team's current state.

The 15-17 Pels, who allow the fourth-most points per game in the league, are in 13th place in the Western Conference after an 0-4 start. Meanwhile, Davis can become a free agent after next season.

Gentry's comments make sense for this season, as the Pels shouldn't be in a hypothetical rush to deal Davis with his contract running out in 2020.

However, if the Pels' slump extends through this season and into next year, then New Orleans is going to have to make some tough decisions.

One option is riding out the Davis contract and hoping he re-signs with the team. 

It's hard to gauge what Davis is thinking and what he wants at this point, but if his primary motivation is winning a championship, then that may be a hard sell.

The Pelicans have a top-heavy roster right now with four scorers (Davis, Jrue Holiday, Nikola Mirotic, Julius Randle) who can put up 30 points in a game at any time, but the team's depth and defensive efficiency are lacking. 

New Orleans is also 25th in defensive efficiency, a mark that has dipped dramatically from 12th a year ago. The Pels are also tied for second-last in bench scoring and tied for 10th-worst in field-goal percentage, per NBA.com.

Another option is buying as much time as possible and dealing Davis before the 2020 trade deadline. In that case, the Pels can give it one more shot next year with Davis as the centerpiece and gauge whether they'll be serious playoff contenders.

Of course, New Orleans can also trade Davis in the 2019 offseason, where deals may be more substantial. More teams may be willing to trade for Davis as they evaluate their offseason rosters, and the Pels could have less leverage at the deadline if the team feels the need to make a deal anywhere to simply avoid the risk of losing Davis for nothing.

Regardless of where Davis ends up, his immediate basketball future is in New Orleans. However, any Davis movement talk could certainly heat up after the season.

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