Anthony Davis is thought to be as good as gone from New Orleans, but could David Griffin change that?
With one year left on his contract before he can opt-out, his openness about not signing an extension and trade rumors sure to come back this offseason, Anthony Davis seems to have no long-term future with the New Orleans Pelicans. But new vice president of basketball operations David Griffin has not given up on the idea of convincing Davis to stay.
During his introductory press conference on Wednesday, Griffin said he met with agent Rich Paul and believes Davis could be open to staying with the Pelicans. The former Cavaliers general manager has a history with Paul and Klutch Sports, which also represents LeBron James.
In three years as the general manager in Cleveland, Griffin proved he could build a championship-caliber roster around a star. Where previous general manager Dell Demps failed to surround Davis with that kind of depth of talent, Griffin has a track record that shows he can succeed.
After the reports Davis would not sign a contract extension with New Orleans, rumors ran rampant regarding a trade with the Lakers, where he would team up with James. The Lakers seemed to mess it up on their end, with multiple apparent leaks of offers made, and now the dysfunction has gotten worse with Magic Johnson stepping down and uncertainty over who will be the next coach. The cache attached to playing in Los Angeles only goes so far, and Davis would be wise to avoid the Lakers turmoil if he can.
It’s highly unlikely Davis is with the Pelicans for all of the 2019-20 season, and there’s a good chance he’s moved during the offseason. But Griffin is strongly committed to trying to keep him in New Orleans long-term, at least for now, and he has the clout to change what has been seen as the inevitable narrative that Davis is gone.
If Davis is somehow convinced to sign a long-term deal, and Griffin’s acumen shows in building the rest of the roster, the Pelicans’ future is bright. If things stay on the current course and Davis is traded, multiple good assets would be coming back to New Orleans.
It once looked like an absolute no-win situation with Davis for New Orleans, with no leverage on their side. But with Griffin’s presence comes credibility, and hope for a positive outcome one way or another.