NBA Investigating Anthony Davis Trade Request; Star Could Be Fined by League

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistJanuary 28, 2019

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - DECEMBER 28: Anthony Davis #23 of the New Orleans Pelicans reacts during a game against the Dallas Mavericks at the Smoothie King Center on December 28, 2018 in New Orleans, Louisiana. 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.  (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

The NBA has launched an investigation after Anthony Davis' agent, Rich Paul, spoke to ESPN.com's Adrian Wojnarowski about Davis' demand to be traded from the New Orleans Pelicans

"We commenced an investigation this morning upon reading the reports regarding Anthony Davis," NBA spokesman Mike Bass said, per the New York Times' Marc Stein. "That process is ongoing."

According to Wojnarowski, Davis faces a possible fine after Paul made "an on-the-record request for a trade."

When discussing Davis' situation, Paul left little room for doubt with his comments to Wojnarowski:

"Anthony wants to be traded to a team that allows him a chance to win consistently and compete for a championship. Anthony wanted to be honest and clear with his intentions and that's the reason for informing them of this decision now. That's in the best interests of both Anthony's and the organization's future."

The Pelicans subsequently released a statement in which they asked the NBA to "strictly enforce the tampering rules associated with this transaction."

The writing has been on the wall for some time. The Pelicans reached the playoffs twice in Davis' first seven years, and they're on pace to miss the postseason this season. Six games separate New Orleans from the eighth-seeded Los Angeles Clippers.

Sooner or later, Davis was bound to leave in search of a championship contender or a larger media market.

Rarely has an agent been so explicit about a star's desire to change teams when he's already under contract, though. Paul's gambit essentially gives Davis even more leverage when the five-time All-Star already had some power to wield in terms of his next destination.

A fine would be a small price to pay for Davis to have the luxury of engineering a trade to his preferred choice of franchises.

When LeBron James signed with the Miami Heat in 2010, it encouraged more star players to test the waters in free agency and prioritize winning a title over staying with the teams that drafted them. If Davis is ultimately successful with his trade demand, it could have a similar impact across the league as agents replicate Paul's power move.

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