As the door on the NBA’s trade deadline creaks towards slamming shut, the elephant in the room — Anthony Davis’ future — is seemingly going nowhere.
Rich Paul, the agent of the six-time All Star, told media last week that Davis will not re-sign with the New Orleans Pelicans and would instead prefer a trade to a team contending for the championship. The Pelicans have not made it to the third round of the NBA Playoffs since Davis has been playing for the franchise.
The timing of the trade request obviously raised eyebrows, given how one of Davis’ most significant suitors, Boston Celtics, will not be in a position to make an offer in February due to the presence of Kyrie Irving in their ranks. This technicality reduced the list of major contenders to sign Davis to one — the LA Lakers, who are led by LeBron James, another high-profile client of Rich Paul.
LeBron has courted trouble in the recent past after falling foul of the league’s anti-tampering rules by stating that he would like for Davis to join the Lakers.
According to a report in The Los Angeles Times, the Lakers made five different offers to the Pelicans in the hopes of prising away Davis. However, Pelicans have decided not to bite, fully aware that they can get much better offers from the Celtics should they wait a few months. In fact, according to a report on ESPN, the Pelicans have so far dismissed the offers as ‘underwhelming’.
As has been pointed out by American media, Irving himself has been looking away from Boston in recent weeks, and a near-certain way of making him stay in the upcoming free agency is to bring the immeasurable talent of Davis to Boston.
Meanwhile, Davis’ father Anthony Davis Sr gave threw a giant rock into the already choppy waters by telling ESPN that he would prefer that his son not play for the Celtics.
"I would never want my son to play for Boston after what they done to Isaiah Thomas. No loyalty. Guy gives his heart and soul and they traded him. This is just my opinion, not Anthony's. I've just seen things over the years with Boston, and there's no loyalty,” he said. Thomas was surprisingly traded by the Celtics to Cleveland for Kyrie Irving while he continued his recovery from a hip injury.
But amidst all the brouhaha, one thing is for sure: LeBron may be The King, but the kingmaker is currently on the roster of the Pelicans. Where Davis goes will most likely change the complexion of the league, much in the same way Kevin Durant joining the Golden State Warriors after their defeat in the NBA Finals to Cleveland Cavaliers propelled them to cement their dynasty.
One deal that did work out this week was the one involving Kristaps Porzingis. With the Latvian stating that he didn’t see his future at the New York Knicks, he was sent packing to the Dallas Mavericks in what was a seven-player swap.
New York got two future first-round draft picks (not to mention that they freed up enough room to afford two top free agents this summer) besides Dennis Smith Jr, DeAndre Jordan and Wesley Matthews. The Mavericks got Tim Hardaway Jr, Trey Burke and Courtney Lee besides Porzingis. New York would get an unprotected pick in 2021 and the other pick would be in 2023.
DeMarcus Cousins schools Kyle Kuzma
A team with LeBron James on its roster taking on the Golden State Warriors is usually enough of a story by itself. But when the LA Lakers met the Warriors on Sunday, the zing was somewhat taken out of the game by LeBron sitting out for ‘load management’ reasons.
But it was entertaining nonetheless.
DeMarcus Cousins just killed Kuzma pic.twitter.com/7CcFtKNQFM
— Def Pen Hoops (@DefPenHoops) February 3, 2019
DeMarcus Cousins threw down a thunderous one-handed dunk at the 5:28 mark of the third quarter, flattening Kyle Kuzma in the process before staring him down and trash-talking him. Unfortunately, it resulted in him getting a technical foul.
But according to Warriors coach Steve Kerr, it was a dunk that re-invigorated the arena and the team.
"I thought his dunk brought the arena to life and brought the team to life. We were searching for energy and emotion up until that point. This was a typical game where you let your guard down a little because the other team's best player's not playing, so there was no life in the building and our guys weren't generating any energy. That play changed all of that," Kerr said.
Rudy Gobert breaks down. And then takes down Draymond Green
As the nominations for the NBA All Stars were revealed one player to have been surprisingly left off was Rudy Gobert. The Frenchman was hurt at not even having secured a reserve spot. In a video posted on social media, Gobert can be seen addressing the snub.
“It was a rough night. My mom called me crying," the Frenchman says before getting too emotional to continue.
Rudy grew increasingly emotional speaking with the media about his All-Star snub. Said his mom called him crying. Said he wrote and deleted several messages on social media. Finally, he grew too emotional to speak, and walked off, wiping away tears. pic.twitter.com/UkFX2nUrt8
— Eric Walden (@tribjazz) February 1, 2019
Of course, Golden State Warriors’ Draymond Green saw in this situation an opportunity to poke fun.
I guess I should cry too... no Charlotte? 😢😢😢
— Draymond Green (@Money23Green) February 1, 2019
On being asked about this, a much more composed Gobert said:
Gobert on Draymond: "As long as he doesn't post anything on Snapchat, we're good."
— Dime (@DimeUPROXX) February 2, 2019
Brook Lopez wouldn’t mind being bitten by a bat
There been quite a few odd-ball assertions by NBA players this season. Kyrie doesn’t think the world is round. Steph Curry doesn’t think man landed on the moon. But this one is probably bat-s**t insane!
San Antonio Spurs' AT&T Center has suffered a bat infestation recently. Recently, during a game against the New Orleans Pelicans, a bat flew in terrorising both sets of players.
The Bat returns to AT&T Center and produces the best moment of the NBA season. pic.twitter.com/O1fDJoXEjj
— Troll Sports (@TroIISports) February 3, 2019
However, one player clearly not afraid of bats is Brook Lopez. On being asked by a reporter recently what he felt about bats being in his vicinity, he said:
With the bat infestation problem in the NBA, I decided to ask Brook Lopez what he'd do if a bat was near him on the court.
I never expected this response. pic.twitter.com/TLTL5BkOTA
— Matt Ellentuck (@mellentuck) February 3, 2019
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Updated Date: Feb 03, 2019 20:25:47 IST