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Report: Pelicans knew for some time Anthony Davis trade request was coming

Cleveland Cavaliers v New Orleans Pelicans

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - JANUARY 09: Anthony Davis #23 of the New Orleans Pelicans looks on during the game against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Smoothie King Center on January 09, 2019 in New Orleans, Louisiana. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

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Anthony Davis explained Kevin Garnett’s loyalty to the Timberwolves as somewhat of a cautionary tale. Davis called the Pelicans losing DeMarcus Cousins and Rajon Rondo “tough.” Davis fired his prior agent and hired Rich Paul, who’s best known as agent of Lakers superstar LeBron James. Davis said he wants to play for a title contender “every year. Not every other year. Not every few years. Every year.” Davis said, “I got to play almost perfect every night to give us a chance to win.” Davis put out word the extra money in a super-max contract didn’t matter to him.

New Orleans is 22-28 and 13th in the Western Conference – yet another underwhelming season despite having a superstar big man.

So, Davis’ trade request shouldn’t have come as a surprise to anyone paying attention. That apparently includes the Pelicans.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

I know they have feared this coming for some time. I don’t believe they were blindsided. I think, within that organization, there was a lot of sentiment that this was inevitable, that it could very well happen before the trade deadline.

The trade deadline is nine days away. That’s not much time to solicit, evaluate, negotiate, re-solicit, re-evaluate, re-negotiate, re-re… Davis trade offers.

But the Pelicans should be prepared. They apparently saw this coming, and if they weren’t ready, that’s on them.

This is not to say New Orleans must trade Davis by next week’s trade deadline. The best offer might come next summer, when the Celtics can realistically trade for Davis. Right now, they can’t trade for him while keeping Kyrie Irving, because they’re both designated rookie scale players.

Everyone knows that Boston offer is coming, though. The threat could improve offers the Pelicans get now, especially from teams that want Davis for the 2019 playoffs.

The NBA is investigating Davis’ trade request. He clearly put the Pelicans in a tough spot. But he didn’t put them in an unfairly tough spot. They saw the writing on the wall, and it’s up to them to handle it.