Anthony Davis had a pretty interesting sit down with friend of the program Rachel Nichols that came out yesterday, give it a watch
Now first a little disclaimer. As a fan of one of the teams that always gets involved in AD trade rumors I have spent many words on this here website talking about how talking about an AD trade was stupid given his contract and the cost that it would take to get him. But watching that interview made my antennas perk up just a little bit with one thing in particular that he said. When Nichols was talking about how other greats like KG regret not asking for a trade to a more competitive franchise earlier in their careers, he said this:
“You hear that, and it makes you think, not gonna lie it makes you think. You wonder if you’re following in that same path”
He also then went on to say how the teams 3-10 are all right there so you never know blah blah blah but listen, that quote was the first time we’ve really ever heard AD even consider the thought of a trade publicly. Everything I have heard at least, was all about him staying in NO and playing his whole career there, all that shit. He also went on to say that if healthy the Pelicans would contend for a title, and for me that’s a little aggressive. They were 27-21 before the Boogie injury, not exactly lighting the league on fire, and they lived right around the 6-8 seed. That would have meant that most likely their first round matchup would have been against GS/HOU.
Boogie got hurt on 1/26. Before then, the Pelicans had played GS three times and went a respectable 0-3, giving up 128, 110, and 125 points and had both Boogie and AD for all those games. Against HOU before the injury they lost 130-123 and have since beat the Rockets by 2 in the game Boogie got hurt. So I’m not totally buying they could get past either of these teams in a series. If his thought was they would have ended a 4/5 seed if healthy, well, they would have had to go on a pretty serious run in the second half to leapfrog DEN/OKC/MIN, teams they are 1-2, 2-0, and 0-4 against this season.
So yes, seeds 3-10 are all close and who knows what could have been if Boogie never got hurt, but the more believable part of this interview for me was him talking about a trade as opposed to winning a title. Which brings me to the Pelicans plan for this summer. They could absolutely bring Boogie back for a shit ton of cap space and hope that he’s the same player he was pre-injury. The problem is with achilles injuries, those are mostly 2 year situations before the player is back to his old self. Shit Wesley Matthews is finally looking like himself and his injury was a few years ago. When you’re dealing with a big it’s a different story. If you’re NO you almost have to bring him back just so you don’t piss off Davis, but what if he’s never the same? What if they are no closer to a title than they are now? Then Davis probably demands a trade anyway and you’re stuck with big time money/years for Boogie. The price for AD goes down with every year he stays in NO because let’s say he asks out and only has 1 or 2 years left, the Pelicans don’t have the same sort of leverage that they do today when a team could just sign him in the offseason once he hits the market at 27 in 2021.
Make no mistake, Anthony Davis joining a contender would be a cosmic shift in the NBA, he’s that good. Now we’re seeing him say things about a future that make you start to think if he’s legit serious about a change in scenery which means this dance will probably continue until he signs his next deal.
OK so maybe my brain is just going a little overboard hearing those quotes and seeing this picture
but there are only so many signs you can ignore before you have to begin to entertain the idea.