It was reported this morning by Adrian Wojnarowski that star forward Anthony Davis is not planning on returning to New Orleans after this coming offseason, in which he will become a free agent. His agent, Rich Paul, reportedly told the team that Davis had “No intention” of re-signing him. New Orleans has recently gone to some great lengths to become a contender to entice Davis to stay.
They even went so far as to trade for another star big man, DeMarcus Cousins, to play alongside Davis, a move that ended up not mattering, as Cousins nearly immediately got injured. To obtain Cousins, the Pelicans lost established player Tyreke Evans, young talents Buddy Hield and Langston Galloway, and both of their picks in the 2017 draft.
Then, they let him walk after he asked for 5.3 million dollars. It is a possibility that, despite Cousins having to sit out most of the season (He returned to play earlier this week), Davis may have more hope for contending for a title in New Orleans if the Pelicans had re-signed him.
This news has huge sports betting implications because of the intriguing potential trade partners for New Orleans. Among them are:
Boston: The major roadblock for this deal is Kyrie Irving. Irving would have to be included in a deal for Davis, as teams are not able to have two players on a roster who are both on maximum rookie contract extensions. Once they can enter the bidding (After re-signing Irving), they will have a plethora of attractive picks and young talent.
Los Angeles Lakers: Despite their sub-par record, and Davis’s request that he be traded to a contender, having LeBron James makes any team an attractive destination. Los Angeles is less attractive with their draft picks but has plenty of young talent on their roster.
One would expect that nobody will be off-limits. A pairing of James (Who has stated that he would like to play with Davis) and Davis would be scary to the rest of the league.
Whoever wins the Anthony Davis sweepstakes is likely going to jump all the way up to second in the odds to win the 2019 NBA Finals, behind Golden State.