Speaking today to reporters, new Pelicans head of basketball operations David Griffin reiterated that he remains focused on selling Anthony Davis on the idea of remaining in New Orleans, despite reports that Davis plans to stick to his trade request. According to Griffin, he intends to meet with the All-Star big man soon, as Mike Triplett of ESPN.com writes.
“We’ll probably sit together in Los Angeles at some point around the draft workouts that take place there,” Griffin said during a conference call to introduce newly-hired GM Trajan Langdon. “And I think that’s the next step — really to look each other in the eye and talk about what’s important to us. And we’re very optimistic from previous conversations with Rich Paul, his agent, and with all of the people here that know Anthony and know what he’s about, we’re very confident that we have a compelling situation for him here.”
When Paul publicly announced in January that his client wanted to be traded, his statement focused on Davis’ desire to join “a team that allows him a chance to win consistently and compete for a championship.” While Davis didn’t feel during the season as if the Pelicans were that team, the franchise has taken some positive steps since then, revamping its front office and hiring a respected executive in Griffin.
The Pels also lucked into the No. 1 pick in the 2019 draft, putting them in position to add Zion Williamson next month. In other words, the outlook in New Orleans is brighter than it was a few months ago, which is a point Griffin hopes to make when he meets with AD.
“If winning is what he is indeed all about, which we have every reason to believe, we feel confident that we can create — and are creating — the right environment for Anthony and frankly for high-caliber players of all types to want to be a part of,” Griffin said today, per Triplett. “This is something that we hope creates an energy that recruits itself, and Anthony would just be one step in that process.”
If Davis doesn’t waver on his stance and Griffin doesn’t believe the two sides can coexist going forward, the Knicks, Lakers, Celtics, Clippers, and a handful of other teams are viewed as possible trade partners for the Pelicans this summer.