Anthony Davis NBA contract: Odds on Lakers, Celtics, other teams picking up his salary for 2019-20 season
The Lakers are the favorite to have Davis on their roster to start next season
Anthony Davis' days in New Orleans appear to be numbered.
According to a report from ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, Davis's agent -- Rich Paul of Klutch Sports -- has notified the Pelicans that Davis, who is eligible to sign a five-year, $240 million supermax contract offer over the summer with the team, has no intention of signing a contract extension and that he has requested a trade away from the organization.
The NBA's trade deadline is February 7, but according to Wojnarowski's report, the Pelicans have not expressed any interest in dealing Davis in the middle of the season, so a potential trade might not occur until the summer, if at all. Davis is eligible to become a free agent in the summer of 2020.
Not surprisingly, odds regarding where Davis will call home at the start of the 2019-20 campaign are already out. Here's a look at the most likely potential destinations in the eyes of oddsmakers (via OddsShark):
The Lakers are the odds-on favorite to land Davis, due largely to the fact that Davis shares representation with Lakers superstar forward LeBron James, and the fact that the Lakers are eager to add another top-tier talent to pair with James. The Lakers will absolutely inquire about trading for Davis, and if they are able to, they will quickly catapult to true contender status, though they would likely have to part with several of their young players in order to do so.
The Celtics have long been rumored to be interested in Davis, and they could potentially offer the Pelicans one of the more attractive return packages that they would see. However, the Celtics can't trade for Davis until the offseason, as they already traded for Kyrie Irving as a designated player, and NBA teams can only have one designated player on their roster who they traded for at a time. If the Pelicans do hold onto Davis until the offseason, the Celtics could quickly become the favorite to land the perennial All-Star.
Though the Pelicans, third on the list, could technically pay Davis the most money moving forward, he has previously stated that he plans to prioritize legacy over money when it comes to his NBA future. While the Pelicans could refuse to trade Davis and instead hope to convince him to stay in New Orleans, as they are scheduled to take on the Houston Rockets on Tuesday night (8 p.m. ET -- Watch on FuboTV with NBA League Pass add-on) but that would be a very risky move, and it seems much more likely that they will deal him for a hefty return rather than risk losing him for nothing.
"I'd take legacy over money," Davis said of his career path, via Yahoo Sports. "I want to have a legacy. All my people that look up to me, the younger kids, I want them to know about AD's legacy. Championships, the things I do in the community, being a good teammate, playing hard. All that stuff matters the most to me. Don't get me wrong, money is amazing. But I think in that sense, money or legacy, I think my legacy will win that battle every time."
The Knicks are intriguing as a potential destination for Davis, as his addition would end their seemingly constant search for a franchise-altering superstar. The idea of putting the Knicks [back] on the map could be appealing to Davis, who would also have an easier time making - and advancing - in the postseason in the East than he has in the West.
The 76ers have the same odds as the Knicks to land Davis, but they don't seem to make as much sense as a destination. The Sixers are already a team build around a transcendent post player in Joel Embiid, and the on-court fit between the two, while certainly tantalizing, also projects to be awkward, though Davis did have some success playing alongside another great big man with DeMarcus Cousins in New Orleans. Nonetheless, it seems unlikely that the Sixers would be motivated enough to pay the price to land Davis, especially after making a big splash earlier in the season by trading for Jimmy Butler; a move that the team is still ironing out.
When it comes to where Davis may end up, there is no shortage of intriguing options, but one thing is for sure: the Pelicans are going to be on the receiving end of a lot of phone calls from opposing front offices over the coming weeks and months.
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