Early Monday morning, news broke that Anthony Davis informed the New Orleans Pelicans that he does not intend to sign a contract extension once his current deal expires after next season, and instead wishes to be traded. Needless to say, Davis' news has set the sports world on fire.
Now that the dust has settled a bit from the shocking news, the Pelicans have released a statement confirming Davis' trade demand while specifically addressing how they will handle the situation.
..."our organization's top priority is to bring an NBA championship to our city and fans build our team for long-term success. Relative to specific talks of a trade, we will do this on our timeline. One that make sense for our team and it will not be dictated by those outside..." https://t.co/InAp332vtV— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 28, 2019
Pels statement continued: "...of our organization. We have also requested the League to strictly enforce the tampering rules associated with this transaction." https://t.co/kPI6HOkZrF— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 28, 2019
The Pelicans statement reflects the team's understanding that they still hold the power in the relationship. If New Orleans feels that a great package comes along for Davis, then the team may abide by Davis' request, or they can simply choose to retain Davis and let his deal expire.
Either way, the Pelicans have made clear that whether or not Davis remains in New Orleans for the next year and a half is up to the organization and not Davis.
One more interesting aspect of the Pelicans statement is their request that the league "strictly" enforce the tampering rule. This may be in reference to LeBron James' supposed recruitment of Davis that led the league to send a reminder to all teams regarding the tampering rules back in December.
ESPN has obtained a memo that the NBA sent to teams today to "serve as a reminder of the league's anti-tampering rule." In letter, NBA says, "employment contracts are to be respected and conduct that interferes w/ contractual relationships is prohibited."— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) December 28, 2018
If Davis is moved this season, it will have to be soon. The NBA trade deadline is just over a week away on Feb. 7.