Pelicans: Anthony Davis Traded on 'Our Timeline;' Asked NBA to Enforce Tampering

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistJanuary 28, 2019

PORTLAND, OR - JANUARY 18: Anthony Davis #23 of the New Orleans Pelicans looks on during the game against the Portland Trail Blazers on January 18, 2019 at the Moda Center Arena in Portland, Oregon. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images)
Sam Forencich/Getty Images

After receiving a trade request from star big man Anthony Davis, the New Orleans Pelicans responded Monday in a statement posted on Twitter:

"This past weekend, Anthony Davis' representatives informed us that Anthony does not wish to sign a contract extension with our team and subsequently has requested a trade. Although we are disappointed in this decision, our organization's top priority is to bring an NBA championship to our city and build our team for long-term success. Relative to specific talks of a trade, we will do this on our terms and our timeline. One that makes the most sense for our team and it will not be dictated by those outside of our organization. We have also requested the League to strictly enforce the tampering rules associated with this transaction."

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported earlier Monday that Davis' agent, Rich Paul, told the team Davis wouldn't sign an extension and has requested a trade. However, Paul "did not place pressure" on the organization to make a deal before the NBA's Feb. 7 trade deadline, per Wojnarowski.

The 25-year-old is signed through at least 2019-20. He can become a free agent in July 2020 if he declines his player option for the 2020-21 season.

The Pelicans' timetable could help to determine Davis' future, especially since the team is in no rush to make a move.

While the Boston Celtics are a logical landing spot for Davis based on the assets they could offer, they can't acquire Davis this season without trading Kyrie Irving. Both Irving and Davis are signed to designated rookie extensions, and teams can only acquire one such player via trade. Thus, the Celtics couldn't trade for Davis until July, when Irving figures to decline his 2019-20 player option and become a free agent. 

Per Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports, the Celtics aren't a preferred destination for Davis, but the New York Knicks and Los Angeles Lakers are potentially ready to make an offer.

On the other hand, contenders around the league could prefer to trade for Davis before the deadline to ensure they have an impact player this season. As Wojnarowski noted, those organizations could then flip Davis this offseason to recoup assets if they don't believe he'll re-sign with them in 2020.

In the meantime, the Pelicans have issued a warning against any form of tampering that could affect the market.

The NBA already sent a memo to teams and players in December that "warned of consequences for orchestrated tampering campaigns." This came in response to Lakers star LeBron James saying it "would be amazing" to play with Davis, per Dave McMenamin of ESPN.com.

Any additional comments potentially could result in penalties for organizations involved.

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