Anthony Davis confirmed today that he intends to play in Sunday’s All-Star game and the remainder of the season, and also confirmed the list of his preferred trade destinations during media availability with reporters Saturday in Charlotte.
The Pelicans’ All-Star suffered a left shoulder muscle contusion on Thursday in a collision with Thunder center Nerlens Noel. After he requested a trade from New Orleans but was not dealt ahead of the February 7 deadline, Davis’ future for the rest of the season became unclear.
Not only does Davis intend to play in the All-Star game, but the six-time All-Star confirmed he plans to suit up the remainder of the season. The Pelicans face potential fines from the league if they elect to sit a healthy Davis for the rest of the season.
In 45 games this season, Davis has averaged 28.1 PPG, 12.9 RPG and 4.2 APG for the Pelicans. Before Thursday’s injury, New Orleans reportedly planned to play Davis but reduce his workload and sit him in the back end of back-to-back games.
The 25-year-old also spoke candidly on his trade request and his possible destination. Davis confirmed his reported list of four preferred teams in a trade ahead of the deadline, which includes the Lakers, Clippers, Bucks and Knicks.
“Whatever list that came out that’s between the Pelicans and my agent,” Davis said, per Sean Deveney of Sporting News. “But it’s true.”
The Lakers were the most aggressive team pursuing the big man but failed to agree on a trade. Davis also called the Knicks a “great franchise” during his media session, before mentioning a possible fifth destination: the Celtics.
“They are on my list,” Davis said of the Celtics (via Sporting News’ Sean Deveney). “….I never said they weren’t on my list.”
Boston was unable to acquire Davis this season without including Kyrie Irving in a proposed deal due to Rose Rule restrictions. However, with Irving hitting unrestricted free agency this summer, Boston would no longer be hindered by that rule and could potentially pair him along with Davis.
As we relayed, the Celtics are reportedly prepared to offer an “explosive” package for Davis. A potential Boston trade could include any combination of Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart, and a slew of future first-round picks, including selections from the Kings, Clippers, and Grizzlies.
In a later interview with NBA TV, Davis claimed he never gave a preferred destination and is merely seeking an opportunity to win.
“All 29 other teams are on my list,” Davis said. “I don’t have a preferred destination, I just want to win. Big market, small market [teams] — I don’t care, I want to win. Obviously, whatever team I get traded to, play for it that year or whatever…Then, when free agency comes, we’ll see what happens.”