The assumption is Anthony Davis has played his final game for the New Orleans Pelicans, but new general manager David Griffin seems committed to trying to convince the superstar center to remain with the franchise.
Davis requested a trade in late January, setting off a firestorm of rumors ahead of the NBA's February trade deadline. Despite strong interest from the Los Angeles Lakers, Davis was not dealt prior to the deadline. By waiting until the summer to trade Davis, the Pelicans could open the bidding to more teams, most notably the Boston Celtics.
But Griffin, in his introductory press conference Wednesday, made it clear he wants to convince Davis to stay, even if it's going to be a tough sell.
David Griffin on Anthony Davis: "We have a long successful history with Klutch Sports. Rich Paul and I have spoke about Anthony. We are both excited about what we could potentially build here."— Andrew Lopez (@_Andrew_Lopez) April 17, 2019
Griffin again says he believes there’s an openness to AD staying after talking with Rich Paul.— Andrew Lopez (@_Andrew_Lopez) April 17, 2019
David Griffin: "Rich Paul and I were part of succeeding. They will understand when I say this, 'You are either all the way or all the way out.'"— Andrew Lopez (@_Andrew_Lopez) April 17, 2019
Griff going strong here. He believes Anthony Davis will want to stay.
Griffin says he has not talked with Anthony Davis directly as of yet. Has spoken with Rich Paul. There is a set time for him and AD to speak coming up soon.— Andrew Lopez (@_Andrew_Lopez) April 17, 2019
Griffin has to make an effort, but it remains to be seen if Davis actually can be convinced to stay. The franchise hasn't done much to build a winning roster around Davis since he was drafted by New Orleans in 2012. The Pelicans also haven't had a general manager as talented as Griffin, who helped build the Cleveland Cavaliers' 2016 NBA Finals-winning roster around LeBron James.
Davis is arguably a top-five player in the NBA and averaged 25.9 points and 12 rebounds per game last season. Although, he only played sparingly after the trade deadline.
Whatever happens with Davis, the Pelicans know they have a competent GM driving the boat. That's a good first step for what is about to become a critical time in the team's history.
Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.