League Executives Expect Summer Trade For Anthony Davis

Talking to NBA executives at this year’s G League Showcase, Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report finds that most expect Anthony Davis will be with the Lakers or Celtics next season.

Although Pelicans officials have repeatedly stated they have no intention to trade Davis, his contract situation may leave them with no choice. He is eligible for a supermax extension this summer that could be worth up to $239.5MM, but is only one season away from his player option if he doesn’t accept that offer.

Davis changed his representation over the summer, signing with LeBron James‘ agent, Rich Paul of Klutch Sports, in a move that some believe was made to get him out of New Orleans.

“I’m not worried about James tampering to the media about AD,” a Western Conference GM told Pincus. “It’s that James and Paul are mafioso mob bosses of the NBA that’s the problem.”

Several small-market GMs raised concerns about tampering this week after James said Davis would be “amazing” to have as a teammate. Commissioner Adam Silver refused to take any disciplinary action against James, and the Lakers’ star raised more speculation by having dinner with Davis after their teams played on Friday.

The executives that Pincus spoke to don’t believe Davis will be moved before the February 7 trade deadline, but they do expect something to happen by draft day. The feeling is that Davis will decline the Pelicans’ extension offer and force them to move him for a package that’s stocked with young talent and draft picks.

“It’s going to be up to [Pelicans general manager] Dell [Demps] to decide where Davis plays next,” an Eastern Conference executive said. “Paul will get him traded, but it’s going to be up to Demps to get the best deal.”

That could work to the advantage of the Celtics, who, depending on protections, may own the Clippers’, Grizzlies’ and Kings’ picks next summer as well as their own. Boston can’t trade for Davis until Kyrie Irving opts out of his current contract, so the Celtics would need to reach an agreement with New Orleans before the draft that wouldn’t take effect until the moratorium is lifted in early July.

Pincus speculates Marcus Smart and Jaylen Brown will be the cornerstones of Boston’s offer, although Gordon Hayward, Terry Rozier, Marcus Morris and Al Horford are all potential pieces. He sees Brandon Ingram and Lonzo Ball as the key players in a Lakers deal, along with a few others to match salaries.

A 15% trade kicker in Davis’ contract could give the Lakers the advantage in their pursuit, Pincus adds. The Pelicans would have to pay Davis an additional $5.4MM if he gets traded during the season or $4.1MM if the deal happens over the summer. If Paul wants to get Davis to the Lakers, he could agree to waive the trade kicker only if Davis is sent to L.A.

Pincus also notes that because the Lakers will be under the cap this summer, they will have the freedom to restructure Davis’ contract, giving him $32.7MM for next season and extending the deal through 2021/22 at a total of $70.3MM for the following two years. When Davis hits free agency in 2022 as a 10-year veteran, he would be eligible for a starting salary at about $46MM, giving him a total deal only about $16MM less than his supermax offer.

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42 thoughts on “League Executives Expect Summer Trade For Anthony Davis

  1. CursedRangers

    “When Davis hits free agency in 2022 as a 10-year veteran, he would be eligible for a starting salary at about $46MM, giving him a total deal only about $16MM less than his supermax offer.”

    – Louisiana State Income Tax is 6%
    – California State income tax is 13.3%
    – Many other states have a state income tax of zero percent.

    Still don’t get why players don’t factor that into their decisions. I get they get taxed at where they play their games. But someone who plays for a CA team is handing the State over $2.5M annually, on one of these mega contracts. That’s a lot of dough to that could be left to your kids and your grandchildren.

    • Rewane

      Players get a lot of that or even more back by being in a big market like LA.

    • LordBanana

      Why don’t you think players take that into account? People care about more than extracting every possible cent. Also, you pay taxes based on where the game is played so it doesn’t make that big of a difference. Otherwise every single player would sign in Texas.

      I don’t think an extra 7% in state taxes is going to dissuade a player making 30 million a year from living in a city he already owns a house in.

    • stug14

      The difference in taxes can be made up in the advertising and endorsement deals that are available in larger markets.

    • First, they get taxed in the state where the game is played. That takes away half the equation of where your home team is. Second, it’s not 13% on the whole amount. But it is most of it. My belief is now that the money is so big for the players, they don’t care as much about those things. It actually works against the intent of the CBA. Instead of players staying put, the money is so much they don’t care wether they make $30m a year or $32m. It’s not going to change their life.

    • bennyg

      I’m Australian, where EVERYONE pays the same levels in tax in the whole country. At the start of each new financial year, we all put in tac returns, where we can claim a percentage of that tax back…. So excuse my ignorance, but does that happen in America also?

      • Grant

        Here in America we have a state income tax on top of the federal tax you are describing. Each state has its own rate and some don’t have one at all like Texas. What people don’t realize is Texas has a higher property tax as well as other taxes to make up the difference so the cost of living isn’t really that much different

  2. LordBanana

    Lol GMs trying to blame all their problems on LeBron and Paul. If Davis wants out it’s because New Orleans hasn’t achieved anything in the many years he’s been there.

    He’s in his 7th year there, does anyone see a realistic path to the championship if he stays in New Orleans?

  3. jacobsigel1025

    Assuming Kyrie stays in Boston, they’ll need to put Gordo or Horford in a deal to send salary back and Horford is still a more than capable player. Horford Jaylen Sacramento’s first and Memphis’ first for AD

    • LordBanana

      Doesn’t Horford have a player option next year? Neither him or Hayward help the Pellies and would need to be flipped.

  4. nature boy

    The league isn’t set up in a way that gives teams like NOLA a realistic chance. They are always chasing their tail trying to accommodate a Chris Pail or AD, mortgaging the future, etc.

    As far as the income tax comparison, who cares? When you make “F you money” it just doesn’t really matter.

    • LordBanana

      How is it the league’s fault? The Pellies have failed to put a championship level squad around him. The Bucks and Nuggets have both managed to put good teams around their drafted stars despite operations from similar financial resources.

      • hiflew

        In fairness, the Pelicans got extremely unlucky with Cousins getting hurt and then losing him for nothing. They had a potential championship level team (or at least deep playoff run team) until Boogie got hurt.

        But he is also correct in that it is much easier for Boston, LA, NY, Chicago, Miami to build contenders around stars than it is for Portland, Memphis, Minnesota, and NOLA. That’s not saying that the big market won’t ever have a bad team or that the small markets won’t beat the odds and have great teams, but it is much easier to build and rebuild when big free agents almost unilaterally prefer big markets over small markets.

        • Johnny h

          Sounds like you didn’t actually follow the Pelicans too closely last year. Pels were better after Cousins got hurt. Team was 27-21 with him, 21-13 without.

        • andremets

          Big market teams also have little patience for rebuilds and usually trade picks foolishly. Look at the Knicks and Lakers’ struggles.

    • x%sure

      Seems like Nawlins should be be able to compete with other cities on a popularity basis. I agree it’s not about taxes, also, city size.

      Second the bottom half of NOP’s roster is rubbish. That’s on management.

  5. imindless

    You can tell how this will play out before it even happens. Ad wont be going to celtics out of fear and posturing that he will walk in a year, ainge may be bold but he is not stupid. Unless there is raptors type team to risk getting nothing on 1 year of ad he is going to the lakers. Lakers doing their best to showcase youngsters this year in the hopes that they can limit the potential return for ad.

  6. Steven St Croix

    It would be funny if he goes somewhere other than LA and Lebron gets nothing.

  7. If the Pels are too timid to use the power the system gives them to stand up to LBJ, Paul, the media, etc., then they can’t whine about the system. Don’t trade him. Let the system work.

    • SheltonMatthews

      Yeah, let him turn down their supermax and leave after 2020 for nothing. Stick it to the man!

  8. Richard Hangslow

    This is Lebron’s final season being the best player in the league. Everyone else from the 03 draft is gone or in their final season. Plus with all the deep playoff runs he has 2 additional seasons of mileage on his legs.

    No one went to play with a broken down Kobe in his final 2 years. If any player attempts to go to LA they will regret it immediately.

    • hiflew

      That’s a very good call. I think LeBron with the Lakers will end up being like Michael Jordan with the Wizards. He’ll still score a bunch, but the team won’t do much.

    • You just HOPE that Lebron has a sudden decline ’cause you dislike. And comparing LB and Kobe is horse pocky. Hope and wish all you like and then eat some caca pie.

  9. goldenmisfit

    He is in the top five in scoring again no way he breaks down all of a sudden I am begging you get drug tested

  10. You see I have a problem with all these GM’s & exec’s who speak anonymously, when people hide who they are is because usually they are lying or up to no good, so maybe they are the mafia mob bosses & hate that LBJ doesn’t need to respect their rules, but I so wish in this articles like the one from Pincus he names this guys or don’t write the article, people that hide lie or are cowards, either way isn’t good, right?

    • goldenmisfit

      As harm Edwards used to say if you’ve got something on your mind put your name on it. I can’t stand always hearing anonymous it tells me they know they are wrong so they don’t want to get pulled out.

    • Johnny h

      Or it’s because no active GM is dumb enough to criticize LeBron on the record, dude.

      • x%sure

        With every new news, I go back and forth between LAL, BOS & NOP as the favorite to land ADavis. The last paragraph above swings the pendulum back to LAL.

        So it’s a 3/$103MM (from Arthur) followed by a 4/$196MM for Davis (my estimate based on realGM figures). A six-year comparison is LAL being able to offer $247MM, and NOP $267MM, an 8% difference. (My figures; Arthur’s was a $16MM difference, not 20; IDK what years he used.)

        An 8% difference is not enough to keep him in NO, and Boston cannot offer what LA can.

  11. Drew22

    How about two small market teams help each other….

    Davis goes to Minnesota. Wiggins, Okojie and picks head to New Orleans.

    Davis may never resign in Minnesota and may not work paired with KAT, but worth the risk.

    It’s not great for the Pelicans, but nothing will be. Wiggins gives them a potential star for 4 years and an emerging youngster with picks. Obviously if they can get Tatum you do that instead, but they may not get that package.

  12. Guest617

    which is sadder the Pels couldn’t build around Davis or Silver continue to allow James break the rules

    • goldenmisfit

      Do you know anything about the tampering rule? Obviously not, because if you did you would know that it clearly states players are permitted to talk about other players from other teams. Not to mention LeBron James was just answering a question from a reporter. As far as having dinner with Anthony Davis this is not tampering if it was the Brooklyn Nets would have been fined when they are assistant coach was having dinner with Kawhi Leonard. Get your facts straight before running your mouth you just come off as ignorant.

    • LordBanana

      People keep saying LeBron broke the rules but have never shown any examples of players being punished for what he says. Giannis said the same things last week but that’s okay because he isn’t LeBron.

  13. Z-A

    Tampering complaints are made by former Hall Monitors. Seriously who cares. Forcing a trade from a contender is a punk move tho, even if I like Kawhi and Jimmy. If they get traded bc the team gets a legit offer okay. If they go in FA, fine. A guy getting max or near max trying to force a trade needs to get taken down a peg tho, conduct detrimental to the team, take back some of that salary. There is a salary cap, if you want a better team, take less money and convince your boys you want to play with to take less money… or be like Chris Paul and make your team instantly worse by maxing out. If you want no salary cap, then give up guaranteed contracts so teams dont get stuck w turd contracts.

    • SheltonMatthews

      Or, they could just keep doing what they’re doing because it’s clearly working for them. Fans might not like it, but a player has a right to demand or even force a trade. The team also has a right to ignore it, and in some cases they should, but we see what happened in Minnesota when they did that.

      As of now, AD has said and done all the right things. This is purely media driven at this point, so let’s get a little further down the road to see if he actually wants out, or if the Pelicans realize they probably have to trade him or risk losing him for nothing.

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