Anthony Davis

Counting down the NBA's top 'Power Couples'

spark_nba_power_couples.jpg
File photos

Counting down the NBA's top 'Power Couples'

Beyonce and Jay-Z. Kanye West and Kim Kardashian. Alex Rodriguez and Jennifer Lopez. 

Power couples have been the "in" thing for quite some time. 

But when it came to NBA teams, the preference was to create super teams instead. 

However, Kawhi Leonard’s decision to sign with the Los Angeles Clippers and bring Paul George with him after George demanded a trade from Oklahoma City, has rocked the NBA landscape on many levels. 

Among them?

The return of the power couple to the NBA. 

Here we take a look at the top 10 tandems in the NBA in what has been an offseason that truth be told, has yet to slow down … not even a little bit. 

 

David Griffin lays out why Celtics backed off in Anthony Davis trade talks

David Griffin lays out why Celtics backed off in Anthony Davis trade talks

Remember all that reported acrimony between the New Orleans Pelicans and the Los Angeles Lakers over Anthony Davis trade talks at the deadline?

Apparently none of it mattered.

Pelicans executive president of basketball operations David Griffin, who joined New Orleans in April, traded Davis to the Lakers anyway in June, leaving other suitors like the Boston Celtics out in the cold.

In a recent interview with ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, Griffin suggested the Lakers were always the clear favorite to land Davis because of the big man's desire to sign with L.A. in free agency next summer.

"We were really fortunate that Rich Paul was representing LeBron James, and the Lakers need(ing) to put another star with LeBron sort of dovetailed with the fact that Anthony had picked the time he had picked to want to move on," Griffin told Wojnarowski. "There was really only one destination (L.A.) where they were confident he would sign."

That meant any other trade partner ran the risk of relinquishing key assets for just one year of Davis. The Toronto Raptors took that gamble with Kawhi Leonard last offseason and saw it pay off with an NBA title, but Griffin suggested the Celtics were less willing to take that gamble, even if landing Davis may have convinced Kyrie Irving to stay in Boston.

"We were in a situation where it was clear that Anthony was ready to move on, and it wasn't clear that he was willing to stay anywhere other than L.A.," Griffin added. "So, I think that probably played into Boston's thinking more than the Kyrie aspect of it, because Boston intended to stay elite. They wanted to compete at the highest level. I think the risk factor of him not staying put the trade conversations more in the space of those other deals we talked about."

If it's any consolation prize for the Celtics, their interest in Davis may have forced the Lakers to pay more for the superstar. Griffin added the Pelicans "had our sights set a little higher" in trade talks with L.A., in part due to the leverage other suitors like the C's provided.

Boston pivoted quickly after whiffing on Davis, replacing Kyrie Irving with Kemba Walker and adding an intriguing rookie class to the young Jayson Tatum-Jaylen Brown duo. Based on Griffin's comments, that may have been the right strategy, as it seems AD was determined to go to L.A. from the outset.

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.

NBA Power Rankings - post-free agency edition

nba_power_rankings_july_2019.jpg
File photos

NBA Power Rankings - post-free agency edition

Now, that the free agency dust has, for the most part, settled, it's time to take stock of the NBA.

Have the Los Angeles Clippers actually vaulted ahead of their cross-town rivals with their acquisition of Kawhi Leonard and trade for Paul George?

What about the East? Are the Philadelphia 76ers now the team to beat after poaching Al Horford from the Celtics? Where did Kyrie Irving's relocation to Brooklyn move the Nets in the NBA hierarchy?  Will the reboot in Boston with Kemba and the Kids move the needle for the Celtics?