Woj: 'No Promises' on Anthony Davis' Future with Pelicans Beyond Trade Deadline

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorJanuary 17, 2019

New Orleans Pelicans' Anthony Davis plays against the Minnesota Timberwolves in an NBA basketball game Saturday, Jan. 12, 2019, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
Jim Mone/Associated Press

Anthony Davis hasn't discussed his future with the New Orleans Pelicans in detail with his agent Rich Paul, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

Wojnarowski appeared on ESPN's NBA Countdown and provided the following remarks (h/t Real GM):

"Rich Paul, Anthony Davis' agent, told me they have not had any real substantial discussions about Anthony's future in New Orleans with the Pelicans. Anthony's focus has been on...the playoff picture. There's no promises about his future beyond the trade deadline. It's safe to say right now, I think he'll be there beyond the trade deadline. New Orleans does not want to trade him. They will have to be forced into doing that."

The 25-year-old center was averaging 29.4 points, 13.3 rebounds and 2.6 blocks for the Pels entering Wednesday.

There has been much talk about Davis' future destination for a few reasons. First, he's one of the clear-cut five best players in the league. Second, he can opt out of his deal in 2020. Third, the ceiling for his tenure in New Orleans may have been realized last year with the team's second-round exit in the playoffs.

The Pels started 4-0 this season, but injuries and poor defensive play have been the two main reasons for their 21-23 mark. They aren't out of the playoff picture whatsoever, as they sit just 2.5 games back of the Los Angeles Lakers and Utah Jazz for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

But matching (let alone exceeding) last year's playoff finish looks like a remote possibility, especially with the Pels ranking just 26th in defensive efficiency.

New Orleans can offer him more money than any other team in the league thanks to a potential supermax deal in 2019, but Davis told Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports on Dec. 22 that legacy was more important to him than money:

"I'd take legacy over money. 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."

If that's the case, then Davis' best bet is to head elsewhere. And if New Orleans thinks there's significant risk Davis could leave town in 2020, then its best bet is to trade him before potentially losing the superstar for nothing.

That likely won't happen this season given Wojnarowski's remarks, but the offseason then becomes a definite possibility.

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