The moment everyone has anticipated for so long is finally here. According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, Rich Paul has informed the Pelicans that Anthony Davis has no intention of signing an extension with the team this summer, and prefers to be traded to a place where he can "compete for Championships."
While this news doesn't come as a shock to most, the timing doesn't seem to add up to everything we had been told. For a while, A.D. we were made to believe that Davis would wait things out and see how the team came together this season before deciding the fate of his future. What he likely realized is that this team is going to look the same in July as it did in October, and figured there was no point in pretending it would change. Because that's been the reality of New Orleans since the arrival of Davis.
Other than DeMarcus, who left after a year and a half, the team has failed to acquire another top-level star, leaving Davis to carry the team almost by himself. And for Davis, who is averaging 29.3 points and 13.3 rebounds per game, continually putting up monster numbers in losing efforts has got to be old for him.
Of course what follows is perhaps the more interesting part in all of this. Now that the Pelicans know his intentions, there's no real reason to try and keep him in town. Their best bet is to find a trade partner willing to offer a package of young players and draft picks. The team could then start over and rebuild for a Davis-less future.
The Lakers will no doubt be aggressive in their pursuit, and they could check all the boxes as far as giving up young talent. There has been speculation for weeks that a play for Davis has been in the works for quite some time. Even still, don't expect the Lakers to be the only team after The Brow. As one of the top players in the game (at only 25-years old), he might be one of the most sought-after trade targets in recent memory.
As New Orleans scrambles to figure out their next move, and teams scramble to assemble their best package, expect these Anthony Davis sweepstakes to be one of the most competitive we've ever seen.