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Report: Gayle Benson Prioritizing Saints over Pels Concerned Anthony Davis

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistJanuary 29, 2019

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - JANUARY 20:  Owner Gayle Benson of the New Orleans Saints is seen before the NFC Championship game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on January 20, 2019 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Sean Gardner/Getty Images

Anthony Davis is reportedly done with the New Orleans Pelicans, and one reason could be the way the front office prioritizes football over basketball.

Gayle Benson owns both the Pelicans and the New Orleans Saints, while Mickey Loomis serves as a key executive for both teams. According to Sam Amick of The Athletic, this hasn't led to a positive dynamic for the NBA star.

"A source with knowledge of Davis' thinking said the idea that the Pelicans were less of a priority to ownership than the Saints has been a growing concern," Amick writes.

Davis' agent, Rich Paul, told the Pelicans Monday that the player would like a trade and doesn't intend to sign a new extension with New Orleans, though the apparent reasoning was based on the team's lack of success.

"Anthony wants to be traded to a team that allows him a chance to win consistently and compete for a championship," Paul told Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

New Orleans reached the second round of the playoffs last season—matching the deepest run in franchise history—but the squad has fallen on hard times this year with a 22-28 record entering Tuesday.

With that said, the relationship with ownership and the front office could have something to do with Davis' reaction.

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Loomis has spent his entire career in football but was named executive vice president of basketball operations for the Pelicans in 2013. Dell Demps helps balance out the basketball knowledge in the front office, but it could be an indication about how seriously ownership takes the Pelicans.

Benson also hasn't shown too much of an effort to keep Davis happy.

"I really like Anthony, but if he wants to leave, you can’t hold him back," she told Larry Holder of The Athletic earlier this month.

Davis now wants to leave, and the Pelicans are left without many options going forward.

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