What Are Anthony Davis And Rich Paul Really Up To? 5 Explanations For Their Trade Request

Jan 29, 2019 09:10 PM EST
Credit:

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Anthony Davis

  • Anthony Davis wants out of New Orleans, and his agent Rich Paul made that official on Monday.
  • But why now? Why today? Rob Perez breaks it all down and gives five possible reasons.

Here’s what we know as actual facts regarding Anthony Davis and his requested trade out of New Orleans:

— Per Woj, Rich Paul has informed the Pelicans that Anthony Davis plans on declining his inevitable supermax extension offer from the organization this summer and has requested a trade to another team.

— The Boston Celtics cannot trade for Anthony Davis right now because Kyrie Irving is on the roster and also falls into “The Rose Rule” — a salary cap outlier which allows certain players, coming off their rookie contracts who have achieved qualifying all-NBA accolades, to earn 30% of the team’s salary cap instead of 25%. You are not permitted to trade for a second “Rose Rule” player while there is someone on the roster already contracted under these terms. Thus, unless Kyrie is involved in the trade, the Celtics are out of the running until the summer.

This Woj bomb dropping felt imminent. The Pelicans stink and they know they can get a King’s Ransom (EH HEM) for him if they put him on the trading block.

Let us explore some outside-the-box theories why this news dropped today, of all days.

1. It’s All Related to LeBron’s Injury

What if the Pelicans knew Davis was leaving this entire time and told LeBron to sit out so they could assess who they want in a trade? Remember when LeBron “heard it pop” on Christmas Day?

I’m sure the injury is legitimate, and only LeBron can answer this, but what if he took his time coming back to satisfy a Pelicans sample size request to expedite the transaction?

Because he represents LeBron and Anthony Davis through Klutch Sports, Rich Paul is the de facto ambassador between the two franchises and the only man with the ability to relay negotiations between front offices without violating the NBA’s tampering rules.

It was at this moment we all thought everything changed.

But maybe it had been in motion this entire time and this was simply a body language signature of liquidation. Maybe the Pelicans said to LeBron that “we can’t accurately appraise these players and hypothesize how they will perform on their own if you’re in the lineup.” Or maybe the complete opposite: the Pelicans front office has never communicated with LeBron, but LeBron knew Davis was coming to Los Angeles this whole time and remained “hurt” while the young Lakers unknowingly showcased themselves in his twisted obstacle course of reality — one in which the players involved have no clue if playing well positively or negatively affects their likelihood of surviving the inevitable transactional armageddon.

All-of-a-sudden, LeBron’s groin was a little more tender than everyone originally thought. Hmmmm.

2. Rich Paul Leaked This to Woj to Get the Celtics’ Best and Final Offer

But did you notice how he didn’t mention which team Davis prefers?

Between Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, Terry Rozier, and all those assets Boston shamelessly stripped from the Brooklyn Nets like Grand Maester Pycelle did to Cersei before her walk of atonement, the Celtics undeniably can put together the best “package” for Anthony Davis if the Pelicans are willing to wait until the summer to move him.

We don’t know if Anthony Davis likes the city of Boston, the Celtics franchise, or if he’d be willing to sign there longterm. This is a power move by Rich Paul. By concealing this information, he is able to obtain EVERYONE’S (even teams outside of Boston and Los Angeles who are interested in attempting the OKC/Paul George and Toronto/Kawhi Leonard strategy of let’s get them in-house, sell them on how great we are, and roll the dice during free agency that they’ll stay strategy) best offers, he is able to go to the Pelicans with a buffet of options versus only one amazing offer (is it even that amazing if the franchise knows he’s coming?) from the team he declared he wants to sign with.

You know Danny Ainge is telling Paul something along the lines of “everyone is available this summer. Just wait.”

If Rich Paul names Davis’ desired team before the Celtics are legally permitted to have Kyrie and Davis on the same roster, it changes everything and the deal potentially disappears.

Essentially: Rich Paul is currently the most powerful NBA non-player/front office exec on Planet Earth right now.

3. There Is a Secret Team That Anthony Davis Wants to Sign With, and This Is Step 1 to Get Him There