The agent for Anthony Davis has issued another warning to the Boston Celtics, restating that the New Orleans Pelicans star will be one-and-done if he's traded to the team.
Rich Paul told Sports Illustrated that Davis would not hold out if traded to the Celtics, but would walk into free agency after next season.
“They can trade for him, but it’ll be for one year,” Paul said. “I mean: If the Celtics traded for Anthony Davis, we would go there and we would abide by our contractual [obligations] and we would go into free agency in 2020. I’ve stated that to them. But in the event that he decides to walk away and you give away assets? Don’t blame Rich Paul.”
Davis requested a trade from the Pelicans in January, but remained on the roster through the trade deadline. Shams Charania of The Athletic reported earlier this week that Davis only wants to be moved to the New York Knicks or Los Angeles Lakers after initially showing willingness to move to the Los Angeles Clippers and Milwaukee Bucks in addition to the other two teams.
Speaking to S.L. Price of SI, Paul denied any notion that he wants Davis to join the Lakers to benefit his biggest client, LeBron James.
“Did you say that to David Falk? Would you say that to Arn Tellem?” Paul said, pointing to other agents who have managed multiple star. “You’re only saying that because you feel like, ‘Well, Rich wouldn’t be in this position without LeBron,’ right? My thing is: Take LeBron off the Lakers. Are the Lakers not a great destination for an arguably top-two player that went to Kentucky and won a national championship, signed with Nike? For a team that’s had centers from George Mikan to Wilt Chamberlain to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to Shaq?
“So now, when you add LeBron, that’s what? The cherry on top. LeBron’s 34 years old. Anthony Davis is 26. So when LeBron’s done playing, the Anthony Davis trade is still rolling. What better place to do it than L.A.? If it was L.A.—I never said ‘L.A.’ But there’s no negative to that. Who gives a s--- what you’re talking about, about me trying to help LeBron out? No, I’m not. I’m trying to help Anthony Davis. Now, if helping Anthony Davis helps LeBron in the long run? So be it. But my goal is Anthony Davis.”
Paul also added that Davis has not made a decision on where he will sign in 2020, but does intend to reach free agency.
“Where he’s going to land? I have no idea,” Paul says. “And it don’t matter. We’re going into free agency. Why does it matter to me where he goes? Earth: We’re going into free agency. He has a year, he has to play. But after that, I can’t say it no bigger: WE ARE GOING INTO FREE AGENCY. 2020: ANTHONY DAVIS WILL BE IN FREE AGENCY.”
Davis appeared in 56 games last season for the Pelicans, averaging 25.9 points, 12 rebounds and 3.9 assists per game. The six-time All-Star was the No. 1 overall pick out of Kentucky in 2012.