Alvin Gentry 'Knew' Anthony Davis Would Request Trade After Hiring Rich Paul

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistAugust 2, 2019

MIAMI, FLORIDA - NOVEMBER 30:  Anthony Davis #23 of the New Orleans Pelicans (L) talks with his agent Rich Paul (right) after the game against the Miami Heat at American Airlines Arena on November 30, 2018 in Miami, Florida. 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 Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Michael Reaves/Getty Images

New Orleans Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry was not surprised when Anthony Davis publicly requested a trade in late January. In fact, he had seen it coming for months.  

"I'm a realist," Gentry told Jackie MacMullan of ESPN. "When Anthony signed with Klutch Sports, I knew what was going to happen. They told me, 'No, we're not trying to get him traded,' but we all realized it was just a matter of time."

Davis made waves by switching his representation to Klutch Sports in September 2018. Though the longtime Pelicans star had two years remaining on his contract, that move stirred speculation that he would try to make his way to the Los Angeles Lakers and LeBron James, who is friends with Davis and also represented by Klutch Sports' Rich Paul.

Los Angeles attempted to acquire Davis prior to the deadline, but negotiations between then-Lakers president Magic Johnson and ex-Pelicans general manager Dell Demps turned into a public fiasco. While Davis remained in New Orleans beyond the deadline, he appeared in just 15 of the team's final 36 games and showed up to the home finale in a "That's All Folks" shirt.

Sports Illustrated @SInow

Anthony Davis is wearing a shirt reading "That's All Folks!" to the arena in what is likely his last game with the Pelicans 🙃 https://t.co/dN5a0OTwsi

Yahoo Sports @YahooSports

Anthony Davis says he didn't choose to wear the "That's all Folks" shirt last night 🤨 (via @PelicansHoops) https://t.co/7k1nZMMgi5

Ultimately, the Pelicans wound up sending Davis to the Lakers in a mid-June deal that netted them Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart and three first-round picks.

"I understand that some players feel the need to move on," Gentry added, per MacMullan. "With Anthony, it could have and should have been handled differently. If it was, I would have been OK with the situation."

Davis spent seven years as the face of the Big Easy franchise, but his forced exit certainly damaged his reputation with Pelicans fans. Once he went public with his desire to be traded, he and Paul did what they had to do in order to accomplish their objective, and he got his wish in the end.