One of the hot storylines in the NBA right now is simply what the New Orleans Pelicans will do with All-Star and franchise player Anthony Davis, who has been the subject of ongoing trade rumors for much of the season.
Davis is signed through the 2019-20 campaign, but he's likely to opt out of his deal in the 2020 offseason. The Pelicans have to decide if they want to either re-sign, trade or keep Davis and risk losing him next year for nothing in free agency.
You can probably rule out one possible scenario for now. ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski went on NBA Countdown (via Real GM), and explained that the Pelicans will only trade Davis if they feel forced to.
"Rich Paul, Anthony Davis' agent, told me they have not had any real substantial discussions about Anthony's future in New Orleans with the Pelicans. Anthony's focus has been on...the playoff picture. There's no promises about his future beyond the trade deadline. It's safe to say right now, I think he'll be there beyond the trade deadline. New Orleans does not want to trade him. They will have to be forced into doing that."
The Pelicans dropped a close 147-140 road contest to the defending champion Golden State Warriors on Wednesday. The Pelicans now sit at 21-24 - considerably behind the eighth-seeded Utah Jazz for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
New Orleans hasn't gotten much production from its other players, as Davis continues to carry the team with little support. He's having an MVP-like season with 29.4 points, 13.5 and 4.4 assists per game.
The Pelicans have been one of the bigger disappointments this season. They won 48 games last year and swept the Portland Trail Blazers in the opening round. Right now, they face long odds of gaining ground and making another run at the postseason.
But for now, the odds of the Pelicans actually trading Davis this season appear to be extremely unlikely, per Wojnarowski. After this season, the front office will have to decide if they want to try winning with Davis again, or if it's time to deal him and acquire valuable assets in return.
What This Means
This is good news for Pelicans fans, as Davis gives them that outside shot at reaching the playoffs in 2019. The offseason will give the organization plenty of more time to decide what they want to do.