LeBron James made some headlines earlier this week when he said it would be “amazing” to play alongside Anthony Davis. However, while Davis was flattered by the praise, he wasn’t willing to entertain any ideas about teaming up with LeBron in Los Angeles, as Zach Lowe of ESPN.com relays.
“I don’t really care,” Davis said of LeBron’s comments. “Obviously, it’s cool to hear any high-caliber player say they want to play with me. But my job is to turn this team around. If we’re 15-17, that means I’m not doing my job.”
The Davis rumor mill has followed a familiar pattern over the years — a report or a public comment will stir up speculation about the Pelicans star moving to a team like the Lakers or Celtics, prompting Davis or the Pelicans to try to shut down that speculation. This week, that job fell in part to head coach Alvin Gentry. As Steve Aschburner of NBA.com tweets, Gentry once again reiterated that the Pelicans have absolutely no intention of trading Davis.
“We’re not trading him,” Gentry said. “I can say that to the world. We’re not gonna trade him, no matter what. That’s not an option. It doesn’t matter what anybody says or does. We’re not trading Anthony Davis.”
Still, as long as Davis doesn’t verbally commit to remaining in New Orleans long term, the rumor mill figures to keep following its same pattern. The 25-year-old will become eligible for a super-max extension during the 2019 offseason, and teams around the NBA will be watching closely to see whether he signs that deal or remains on track to reach free agency in 2020.
“When that time comes, of course we will see,” Davis told Lowe. “I love my teammates. I love New Orleans. I love the fans. I talk their slang. I love their food.”
Despite Davis’ love for New Orleans and the Pelicans’ adamant opposition to trading him, they can’t stop players like James from making indirect pitches to their All-NBA big man. According to Aschburner, Giannis Antetokounmpo jokingly made a more direct pitch to his fellow All-Star on Wednesday night, when he ran into Davis after the Bucks’ win over New Orleans.
“Come to the Bucks, man,” Antetokounmpo said with a smile. “Come to the Bucks.”